Thursday, March 25, 2010

Massive dilemma

A year ago this week we had just moved out of our house for the start of a massive house remodel. Last year we weighed all the options, looked at the houses for sale on the market and then decided to go ahead with the remodel.
I actually am quite happy with how the remodel turned out. We would never have been able to stay in the house without going through it. The problem that we are now facing is a simple one on the surface. It is a problem of space, not housing space but of yard space. We have a postcard sized backyard which was fine when we had no children. Now there are 3 kids and a 70 pound dog all vying for this tiny space. Add to it a heavily used arterial just on the other side of our neighbors and cars that speed up and down our own street searching for a way down to the sound. My 2 year old son has blossomed into a very happy outside kid in the last month. This was highlighted by his sheer delight in the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kaua'i (we had to go three times!). As I watch his excitement grow for the out of doors my heart swells with happiness and sadness. Our neighborhood while it has all the closeness we need for our oldest to many of the services she needs, it does not support much room for being safely outside for small children unless they are under incredibly close supervision. This dilemma is making me ill just thinking about it.
My husband asked me why I didn't think of this last year. I have always wanted to live outside the city at some point in my life and didn't realize how fast the strong yearning would creep up on me. Last year at this time though there weren't any houses on the market under $800,000 that were single story or on acreage. Now when I look at houses for sale I can find single story houses for under $800,000 that are on an acre of land. One solution would be to find a single story house that fits our needs on an acre or more of land. We even have friends who have expressed interest in moving with us it there is a mother in-law apartment because they too would like to leave the city behind for a while. The other solution I have come up with (which is of course only a day dream) is to buy the house in the above pictures and knock it down. Thus creating more yard space but stay in our lovely remodeled home. I have happily learned that if you own a property it only costs $12,000 to knock down a house and remove all the ruble. I think I have a better chance of winning the lottery then actually going through with this second solution. And so here I stew in my knowing that a bit more land would make us a very happy family and yet in a quandary because we have just remodeled our house and have no equity really. :-(


Sonja said...

I couldn't agree more, yards are so very important, especially during those summer months. That was a huge criteria for us when we were looking at buying houses.

Just out of curiosity, why that house? Is it immediately next door to yours? That would make for a nice huge lot. I'd bet in Seattle you could practically recycle an entire house for free here; there are so many scavengers looking for building materials!

Luna Indigo said...

That house and ours share a fence. It is a rental that is in serious need of repair. The renters are very nice but I would love for that house to go. I have picked 3 houses in the 2 blocks around our house that should be torn down and replaced with green spaces. Two are lived in and one has plants growing on the inside!