House delimma

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529
House delimma

Anyone bored enough to hear me ramble?? Wink

We have found two houses that we like and fit most of our criteria. I have no idea how we are going to decide. I know that this is a decision we will have to make but maybe putting it all down here will help me think through it all.

4 Bedroom, 2.5 bath, oversized 3 car garage, formal dining area
Burleson Home Pros
1. My dream neighborhood with lots of trees, big lots and home is buried back on the last street
2. Gorgeous views out of every window and there are LOTS of them so a lot of light (major plus)
3. It's only about 25 minutes from my family (major plus)
4. Love, love, love the HUGE backyard. (The whole lot is just over half an acre)
5. Most awesome laundry room. Ever.

Burleson Home Cons
1. The home had some major foundation work done about 6 years ago. The work that was done has a life time warranty but if other problems arise that are in another part of the house, it would be on us. (MAJOR drawback since we know it cost them $10,000 for the work. YIKES. Of course, the house may be fine from now on. We can get the foundation checked again along with the inspection, with the permission of the seller.)
2. The seller is actually a relocation company. They have added a few funky addendums to the traditional contract that you would inter into upon making an offer on a house. Again, this may or may not be an issue depending on how things go when it comes to the inspection. It's so complicated, our realtor had to contact a lawyer to sort through the legalese.
3. Older fixtures and I'm not crazy about the flooring. It's not terrible and those things can be changed over time.
4. Jason's drive to work would double.

4 bedroom, 3 full baths, 3 car garage, formal dining, also has a study
Benbrook Home Pros
1. Beautiful home, lots of upgrades and pretty details. No updating needed at all since it's newer.
2. It's much closer to Jason's work (major plus, less gas, less time in the car and more time at home)
3. I prefer the layout of this house for the most part. Open concept kitchen, a study which could double as a craft room! (YAY!)
4. I prefer the flooring and fixtures in this house. The kitchen is a more ornate than I prefer but it's still lovely.

Benbrook Home Cons
1. The biggest drawback by far is it is about 40 minutes from my family. I hate the 30 minute drive now but I usually hit some traffic, so time wise, it may not be that much different. Traffic should be much less from this house.
2. The view doesn't compare. It's a newer development and so the trees are sparse. It's sort of rolling hills but I would prefer trees.
3. The living room doesn't have as much area to play as the other.
4. There would be an HOA. Not sure what kind of anal retentive people we could be dealing with. Wink

Property line goes back much further than the fence

joysiloo's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054

Those are hard choices! Keep looking! lol
I think the biggest thing for me would be the trees, but increasing Jason's commute would be a biggie too. I would put higher priority on his commute than distance to your family because he'll be doing that drive every day as opposed to you seeing your family once or twice a week (a guess). You'll appreciate him being home sooner rather than later when you're about to lose your mind with two needy kids!

Flooring and fixtures can be changed, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. If you have the foundation checked by a professional, I wouldn't worry about that either. I know that we keep a soaker hose around our foundation and run it occasionally in the heat to prevent cracking of our foundation. You'll want to make sure that kind of maintenance happens if you go for that house.

How are the schools? That would be my other concern.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

:lurk:
I was all set to say the second one, until I saw it is with an HOA. I would not want to deal with it.

:goodluck: Good luck picking. It's nice to have options.

PookieB's picture
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 631

Kayla I was just in your situation a month ago. Our deciding factors were
1. Neighborhood quality and affordability (because of our break in last Oct)
2. Near family, work, school etc.
3. Sq footage and floor plan (roomy but not too much).

Those look beautiful! I don't know how you feel about space but I learned it was better for me to have less so I could enjoy it and not have to clean every second. Our old 4 bedroom townhouse was 2,300 sq and it about killed me with 2 kids. Also I wanted a "great" room. Having the kitchen and living room in the same area is needed for me to cook and watch the kids play. Best of luck on your decision. BTW when are you guys looking to move? We move June 2nd and can't wait!

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

"joysiloo" wrote:

Those are hard choices! Keep looking! lol
I think the biggest thing for me would be the trees, but increasing Jason's commute would be a biggie too. I would put higher priority on his commute than distance to your family because he'll be doing that drive every day as opposed to you seeing your family once or twice a week (a guess). You'll appreciate him being home sooner rather than later when you're about to lose your mind with two needy kids!

Flooring and fixtures can be changed, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. If you have the foundation checked by a professional, I wouldn't worry about that either. I know that we keep a soaker hose around our foundation and run it occasionally in the heat to prevent cracking of our foundation. You'll want to make sure that kind of maintenance happens if you go for that house.

How are the schools? That would be my other concern.

I have been thinking about Jason's drive a lot. Yesterday was one of those days where I knew even 20 extra minutes would have been 20 too many. Like you said, he will be doing that a lot more often than driving to see family. It's just that both my sisters are going to be SAHM's soon (my oldest sister is going to work at home after her baby is born in July) and going to meet up with them will not be easy. Still, it's only 15 extra minutes. I feel like I'm going in circles here.

I think what freaked me out about the foundation is that it cost them $10,000 to get it fixed. We would definitely have it checked before buying it but who is to say that problems will not arise later? I don't know enough about that sort of thing to know if we can have any reassurance about it's stability over the years. Jason is really good about watering the foundation though so we would definitely do that.

As far as schools, they are both good districts. That is part of the reason these two houses are so far apart. In between them would be Fort Worth ISD and we didn't even consider living in any home that fed into those schools. School districts were actually the first thing we decided on before even looking at homes.

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

"CamelNoodle" wrote:

:lurk:
I was all set to say the second one, until I saw it is with an HOA. I would not want to deal with it.

:goodluck: Good luck picking. It's nice to have options.

Well, Holly pointed out on facebook that we wouldn't have to worry about "dangling doodads from bumpers". ROFL Unfortunately, that was an issue in our neighborhood recently. Thankfully, they are gone now.

"PookieB" wrote:

Kayla I was just in your situation a month ago. Our deciding factors were
1. Neighborhood quality and affordability (because of our break in last Oct)
2. Near family, work, school etc.
3. Sq footage and floor plan (roomy but not too much).

Those look beautiful! I don't know how you feel about space but I learned it was better for me to have less so I could enjoy it and not have to clean every second. Our old 4 bedroom townhouse was 2,300 sq and it about killed me with 2 kids. Also I wanted a "great" room. Having the kitchen and living room in the same area is needed for me to cook and watch the kids play. Best of luck on your decision. BTW when are you guys looking to move? We move June 2nd and can't wait!

Affordability and quality I think are equal, so that makes that part easy. As I was responding to Joy, it's much closer for Jason but further from family. I think Jason being closer to work needs to trump proximity to family but it's still kind of a bummer for me.

Square footage is close for each home but we wanted 4 bedrooms b/c my parents visit often enough that the extra room gets used quite a bit throughout the year. The Benbrook has the extra study but I do love the thought of it creating extra storage for Jordan's toys and a craft area for me. In fact, that plus is sort of growing on me.

BiggrinReally, THANK YOU for taking the time to respond. It's helping. Biggrin

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

If I had to pick I'd go with #2. For our family, every day life comes first - so DH's commute time and house layout allowing me to be productive despite Aiden. I don't really love the kitchen look personally, but it's not a bad kitchen at all and it is something that you could change a bit over time. As far as trees go, trees grow with time. Wink If this is a house that you want to stay in for a very long time (which from what you've said it will be), creating that yard with trees that you want can very much happen with you still having tons of time to enjoy it. My parents yard had no trees when we moved in. 8 years later the small trees they planted had really taken off. It's been almost 20 years and they trees are HUGE. So big that they regret planting so many. lol. While the longer drive to see family is there, it doesn't seem that long to me. But keep my perspective in mind for what I consider to be a long trip (16 hours). Wink I love the yard of one, but love the inside of 2 more just due to layout. HOA doesn't scare me. Though I wouldn't be opposed to dropping by the neighborhood and knocking on a couple of doors and asking people. Wink I've dealt with HOAs before as renters which the fun part of that was that we weren't "allowed" to be given a copy of the HOA regulations but were expected to abide by them. It was a fun game of guessing, which is what I hated. Once we figured them out, we didn't mind. Kept the neighborhood constant and looking nice. Honestly base regulations that we've dealing with now are MUCH tougher than any HOAs I've ever heard about. And they were supposedly bad in Vegas.

The foundation thing and the legalize issues would definitely worry me big time with house #1. Beee But man it's so pretty too!

PookieB's picture
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 631

"Kayla1981" wrote:

Affordability and quality I think are equal, so that makes that part easy. As I was responding to Joy, it's much closer for Jason but further from family. I think Jason being closer to work needs to trump proximity to family but it's still kind of a bummer for me.

I totally understand that! I've been 5 hours for my parents for 6 months and it's really hard on me, them and the kids. Teddy will be driving 40 minutes to work one way and that's the best we could find with price, location and size of the house. He works late hours(after 8pm) at least once or twice a week. Unfortunately for us HOAs are really hard to avoid in palm beach county. This one we are moving into is
family and kid friendly tho.

Lavender444's picture
Joined: 03/27/03
Posts: 1944

That's it! I'm moving to Texas!

I really love them both. I'm leaning towards the 2nd one, but I love, love, love the first. The family room of the second one feels more comfortable to me. But the outside space of the first one draws me in.... Helpful, huh? Wink

Foundation issues scare me. Do you know why they had issues. Was it structural issues, or soil issues?

What's the price difference between the two? Not enough to make a difference, I'm guessing.

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

Jackie, I'm with you on the kitchen. I can appreciate it is nice, even though it's not my style. Supposedly the wood used is special? Lol, it's one of their selling points. You can see how much it impressed me. I am not a fan of all the glass either, but again, I know I will have to keep an open mind since we are not building our own home.

I guess on the positive side, my dad has been in the nursery business for over 30 years. He should be able to help us decide what trees will do well in that area. Burleson is a naturally wooded area and even though Benbrook is not that far, the land does change quiet a bit. But I'm sure there are plenty of trees that will grow well there.

On a side note, how can an HOA not give you a copy of their rules?! How can they legally enforce anything if you don't even know what is expected of you? That's just stupid.

"PookieB" wrote:

I totally understand that! I've been 5 hours for my parents for 6 months and it's really hard on me, them and the kids. Teddy will be driving 40 minutes to work one way and that's the best we could find with price, location and size of the house. He works late hours(after 8pm) at least once or twice a week. Unfortunately for us HOAs are really hard to avoid in palm beach county. This one we are moving into is
family and kid friendly tho.

We are 3 hours from my parents and I hate it! I had no idea how much I would wish they lived near by once kids came into the picture. I know it could be much, much worse. At least we still see them often. It would just be really great if they were close enough that I could get together with my mom during the week.

Also, a 40 minute drive to work is probably typical for a lot of people around here. We are fortunate that we have the option of living closer to DH's work. At least he doesn't have to commute into a downtown area like so many.

Oh, and to answer your previous question, we are probably going to move forward with an offer soon. So I guess whenever everything is finalized? Either we are incredibly brave or incredibly stupid to be doing this right now. I may leave one house to have my c/s and come home to another, lol.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

"Kayla1981" wrote:

On a side note, how can an HOA not give you a copy of their rules?! How can they legally enforce anything if you don't even know what is expected of you? That's just stupid.

Cause it was Vegas. Lol HOAs there only talked to owners. We rented through a property management company both houses out there. So we never could get anything out of them.

And no matter where you end up, they're both great! Wish we had house choices like those. lol. And you wouldn't be the first family ever to move during late pregnancy/birth/early newborn days. Wink
Is your current house sold or on the market?

Joined: 06/10/07
Posts: 1692

Considering the responses you've already received I'm coming into this a little late. After reading your first post my first thought was the same as Joy's...school districts.

Can I ask what size each school district is? What do you like about each school?

Then I'd worry about commute and close to family. Square footed - I'd like enough room but I also don't want to clean 24/7 (since we seem to have to do that already) unless you are going to have help with that.

Can't wait to hear what you decide. Looks like they are both in gorgeous neighborhoods! Also - do you know how many kids are in the area for each home?

joysiloo's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1054

Sometimes HOAs are nice. I live across the street from our HOA president and a board member, and let me tell you, the yards in our part of the neighborhood are the nicest in the development! We really don't have to deal much with them, but when D and I were attacked by a dog a few years back, they went after the owners with a lawyer and it was paid for by the HOA. Not all bad. And we have block parties a couple of times a year (neighbor's night out, spring clean-up) and it's really fun.

Joined: 04/09/06
Posts: 1244

I think you have gotten some great input. I don't think a HOA is a bad thing. I would ask to see if you are allowed to see the rules before you put in an offer. I really like #2 for several reasons. I think Jason's commute is the biggest factor. You want him as close as possible. Driving can be very draining (I don't drive too far compared to some, but my 40 minute commute can really make me tired by the time I get home...we won't be moving to make it less time though). As much as I don't love the kitchen, I still think it is very nice. I have a crappy kitchen, so anything is an improvement. Smile I also think that the foundation issue with #1 (even though it has been fixed) would make me lean toward #2.

Living away from family can be hard, but it really isn't too far. Of course, my view is skewed. Craig's sister lives closest to us and it is about 3.5 hours. My parents live over 4 hours away. I hate it, but it is what we chose before we had kids, and we don't mind where we live. I live about 45 minutes from Indianapolis, so I imagine that is about the time you would put in driving to see your family. It isn't too bad. I would not want to do it weekly, but maybe you could set a schedule where they drive to you one week and you drive to them.

I agree that schools are a big factor. Although, working in the schools, I think the data we get about school is sometimes not too accurate. I would look at class sizes, school size, and what activities are available to students. You could look at testing data, but just realize that it does not always tell the entire story about a school. That part is tough.

Unless you feel like you need a new house, right now, keep looking around and see if there is anything else that works for the commute/family factor. Good luck!

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

I think they are both gorgeous! Tough decision! You've gotten tons of great advice already, curious to hear if you've decided on anything after your talk the other night?!?

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

Jackie, we have had to search the outskirts of the metroplex for houses like this. We might be able to find something like that closer to the center of the metroplex but the land would be minimal to nonexistent and the cost would be much higher. What can I say, I married a country boy. For ten years I've denied that I would want to live any further out but I guess I finally came around. Of course, it's still very "city" to Jason. It's all relative.

The school district for the Benbrook house is very small. I believe it's 2A? There are only four campuses, one for each section of grades (elementary, intermediate, middle and high school). The spending per pupil is higher than bigger districts and the class sizes are smaller. The graduation rate for the district is excellent comparing it to some of the other districts around here. I looked at the TAKS scores and they vary quiet a bit but, for the most part, they meet or exceed the state averages. I compared them to schools I went to just as a reference point. They were in line or better than the schools I attended.

We had a chance to look over the HOA rules. Looks pretty much like we expected. I can definitely see the upside to having one. Now I just need to make sure that I green up my thumb.

Tonight we are meeting with our realtor to go over an offer for the Benbrook home (the second one). We will be in contact with the company that is going to help us lease as well. They looked over comps and are pretty confident that we will be able to find renters quickly. THAT part is scary though. Although, a house down the street was empty for maybe a week? We know the prices houses are renting for around here so we are taking a leap of faith on that. Plus, we've been told this is a good time to have a house available since the school year is about to end. It's all pretty scary but I think moving is just a stressful thing to go through.

Cali26's picture
Joined: 02/01/07
Posts: 1040

Good luck with your meeting with the realtor. I hope all goes well! I really like the second house! I would definitely shy away from anything that previously had major damage! And if you could avoid any sort of commute for your DH, I would recommend it! (I work an hour away from home... it is tough!)