13 answers

Which House to Buy?

Big house, big yard, finished basement is HUGE, perfect in every way? One negative is there is no VISIBLE area of the (easily fenceable) yard for my young kids. Small chance of it falling through and we'd lose both options. Or...

Smaller house (but adequate), nice area too, UNfinished basement. Lovely fenced in yard visible from kitchen so I can see them. Possibly more kids in this neighborhood. 2 kids to a bedroom eventually. We're in the final stages with this one so switching would be a pain but doable.

Same price, same quality schools, same 4-bedrooms (but first one has room to turn into 5 bedrooms, and our family keeps growing).

2 toddlers plus baby. Deciding where they would be better off?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Ah, you guys! I think I'm going to have to go against the popular vote. The first house, while nice, is a short sale. It was "ours" then fell through. It's now back on the market in the final stage and approved, so really I'm not worried about it falling through again. But, it's just not as easy as a done deal, regular sale. We are almost done with the other house, plus paid for inspection. It went well!

I'm the kind of mom who needs a backyard where I can watch the kids. Our old place didn't have that and it was a huge loss. We seem to always have a newborn, so a fenced, visible area where the older kids can play is a must so I can tend to the baby inside.

So, I think the second house is the one for us. Plus, an unfinished basement means trike riding in the winter!
Given the age of our kids, I think it makes sense. We're not bound to it for eternity...

Featured Answers

I would go with the big yard big house. Fence in the yard and go out a play with the kids. Put the baby in a stroller or take the play pen outside. They can still ride their tricycles in a finished basement in the winter.

More Answers

I'm going to suggest #2. You can always finish your basement at a later time if you need to. The visible fenced backyard is a great plus. My house does not have that and that is one of the biggest things I wish I had. Really, its on the top of my list! I know my kids aren't going to be small always, but my house neither opens up to my yard nor can I see the kids! A basement can always be finished- not being able to see the yard will never change.
That's just a suggestion. Pick what feels like home to you. :)
Good luck and enjoy your new home.
Aarti.

1 mom found this helpful

I would go with the one you love most (seems like the first one you discribed). Which has the better vibe..etc. I mean, you are not going to stand in the kitchen and watch them play all day are you? You would check on them. So, you would have to go to where you can see them to check on them. .. assuming that the first discrebed yard is in fact, fenced in as well.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd do with the finished basement because you can use it right away as a spare family room, play room for the kids, office etc.

I would go with the big yard big house. Fence in the yard and go out a play with the kids. Put the baby in a stroller or take the play pen outside. They can still ride their tricycles in a finished basement in the winter.

Is the bigger house on a corner lot? If so, you might want to check with the city about what type of fence you can install. I was all set to fence in my yard when the city informed me that because we are on a corner lot, we could only have a short picket fence in the portions where we wanted privacy the most. This was for traffic visibility reasons. Nevermind that they allow trees and hedges in the same spots. We opted to forgo the fence and keep our privacy hedges.

Looks like I'm coming in too late, but since it was against the popular vote, I wanted to agree with your decision.

Especially as the kids get older, having a visible yard is HUGE-because you won't always be out there with them. For me the tipper was kids in the neighborhood. My kids spend all summer, spring and fall outside with the neighborhood kids and they are a huge part of our lives.

An unfinished basement could also be finished with bedrooms, etc (but the trikes thing is fun too).

Good luck with it all.

You can use the basement 12 months out of the year and when it's a rainy day, etc. Seeing this is chicago, the basement is more important than the yard :)

In these times, pick the one that you can afford easier. That's the more important then anything else. Big houses can come later when kids are older.

One of the things you mention that you definitely want to consider is other kids. I have 3 older kids and where we live now was supposed to be temporary. Well, there are no boys for my son to play with and temp has turned into 10 yrs. Now that he is older, of course he does NOT want to play with his sisters all the time or with the girls in the neighborhood. When we move, that is something I will definitely be watching for. And as already mentioned, check with the city or town to see what kind of fence you can put up. How do you feel when you first walk into the house and what kind of compromises would you have to make for each to get the home you really want? And I agree an unfinished basement can end up unfinished years later but you can make adjustments with furniture and such to split it up. It is a great place to setup for play in the cold and rainy weather.

We bought our home 10yrs ago. It has a huge unfinished basement that we thought would be nice once we had it finished. Fast forward 10yrs, and it is still a nice unfinished basement. If I could go back and do it again, I would buy something already finished. So, I guess it depends on what you would get more use out of the yard or the basement.

Sounds like you like the first one. Fence the yard, spend time outside with them when the weather is nice.

Number 1, without question. When you cannot be outside with your kids, they can play downstairs. They will not always be little enough to need a fenced in backyard. Sounds like number 1 has more living sq footage.

Just hearing your "voice" tells me you prefer choice one. Kids in a neighborhood make things easier--I wish you luck--these are tough choices. We are looking, too, and trying to figure what our top priorities are. Best of Luck!!!

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