That is the question. We’ve been debating about whether we should move and, if so, what the priorities in a new house should be.
Here’s our current housing situation. We live on a busy street on the border of a highly desirable neighborhood. We live in an urban neighborhood and love it, so no street is really all that quiet. But our street serves as a major cut-through road as cars try to take a shortcut around a nearby traffic light. As we are on the border of the neighborhood, we are a bit far from the park and other amenities that we want to be close to. We are still clearly within walking distance and, indeed, love to walk to the park and shops in this neighborhood. One advantage of being a bit on the outskirts of this neighborhood is that it does put us closer to my work, which I also walk to most days. The house itself has a good amount of square feet, but it is not ideally arranged. Our bedroom is practically the size of a football field while the living room is barely wider than our couch, for example. But our backyard is just ideal–a nice patio, lots of shade, and enough grass for kids to run around but not too much to mow.
So why do we want to move? Location is one–getting to a quieter street where traffic doesn’t speed by quite so fast. And more families with young kids–the main part of this neighborhood has tons of families but on our street it is more young adult renters and elderly women. They are nice enough people, but we would love to have little playmates. Another main reason is to improve the flow of the house and give more floor space to the public areas of the house rather than the master bedroom. And then thinking ahead to when the second child arrives, wanting a separate space for an office.
If we move, we definitely want to stay in our current neighborhood, but just a quieter street and ideally more in the heart of the neighborhood rather than the border. Last year–or maybe even 6 months ago–this definitely would have been possible. But a crazy thing has happened to the real estate market here and prices have skyrocketed. I’m getting a little sad that we may be priced out of what we want. Most houses get multiple offers the first day they are on the market. Realizing the craziness of the market has got me thinking about whether we are better off staying put. There are ways we could renovate our current home to make it more of what we want. But of course we can’t change the street. I’m kinda wondering if we are better off doing a $100K reno on this house than to buy a house for $250K more than this house.
Complicating all of this is our second adoption. I don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize the adoption. Financially we have enough to cover a downpayment while maintaining our adoption savings. But if we end up doing a major reno project on either our current house or a “new to us” house, then figuring out how we get our home study squared away is a challenge. Not to mention not wanting to bring home a baby to a construction project!