We've been talking about whether we should move, or stay for a couple years now. On our Oklahoma trip, we discussed the pros and cons. I said that if we're going to move, we needed to do it now while we're still young and capable enough to do it. OR, we need to just stay and do the necessary home improvements--regardless of the cost.
Reasons to move:
1. We need a new driveway, the front steps need to be re-built, the 4 French doors on the front of the house need re-placing, there is rotted wood that needs replacing, we need two new trees, the garage doors need to be replaced and the garage itself needs a complete overhaul.
2. Our house is energy "IN"efficient. Utility bills are outrageous.
3. We don't know what the guy building behind us plans to do regarding "his" woods that shields our house from his.
4. They are going to widen the road above us which means more traffic, noise and probably a stoplight at the entrance to our neighborhood (that might not be all bad).
5. Moving would be a good chance to really clean out, re-organize and downsize a bit.
So because of all of these reasons, we decided to start looking at houses. Connie has acted as my realtor by sending me about 30 listings for us to look at. I was pretty excited. I'm pretty picky about what I like. I want something open and bright. I love white and will always choose white painted woodwork over wood. I want white cabinets in the kitchen. I like the clean, fresh look of white. I'm actually sort of fanatical about it. So, I was really particular about what I wanted to look at. I narrowed it down to 9 houses. Butch and I drove around and looked at all of them. Due to various circumstances---location, surrounding neighborhood, lack of yard, too hilly or odd looking houses, we narrowed it down to just 2 houses we wanted to see. We weren't even sure about those.
We looked at the two houses yesterday and then drove by another that is soon to come on the market.
House #1--had a serious drainage problem in the backyard and, although it sits back on the lot, it's on a busy road. House #2--great porch and we loved the main level, but too many steep steps to the upper level and basement, plus it had a fall away lot in the back which made the backyard awkward and not easily usable. Plus, I wasn't crazy about the location---too far away from family and friends.
The new house coming on the market was in a terrible location and the surrounding neighborhood was old and run-down. So we nixed that.
As we were driving home, I mentioned that neither of the dining rooms would would have been big enough for our furniture. When we moved in to our current house 21 years ago, there were 3 things I wanted: 1. an open foyer, 2. 9ft ceilings (we have 10 ft. downstairs and 9ft. upstairs) and 3. A BIG dining room--which we have. I said that I would hate to think we were settling at this stage in our lives. We actually already have the perfect house for us.
Reasons to stay:
1. We love our location--we're central to everything and close to family and friends.
2. We love our house. Sure there's a few cosmetic things we want to do inside but we've already re-done most of it. We have just the master bath, powder room and kitchen left.
3. We're still enjoying the pool.
4. We love our yard, gardens and especially the front porch.
5. Moving would be such a huge hassle!
So here's where we're at. We're going to be open to whatever comes on the market for the next month or two. After the first of the year, we're going to get started on the improvements here and just stay.
Here are a few pictures of our house as it is right now.
So now you know our plan. At least that's what it is for now!