Home Shopping, Part 1

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Over the course of our four-day visit to the Portland area, we visited many homes. Some old, some new. Some nice, some not so nice. We didn’t leave with a decision, and actually, didn’t even really hone in on a particular area. The good news is that there are a lot of areas that seemed interesting to live in and a lot of homes where we could see ourselves. It’s beautiful here (have I said that before? haha.), so easy to find things to love about almost all the neighborhoods.

Here’s where we struggle:

Buying a house when you have kids is HARD. It adds a whole ‘nother layer to the process – you have to find the right area, the right home AND the right schools. Luckily, it seems the Portland area has some pretty excellent elementary schools – so we’ll be set for the next six years. The perfectionist in me wants to find an area where elementary, middle and high schools are all rated outstanding. The rationale side of me is saying ‘you won’t need high school for 10 years – things could change. Satisfactory ratings are fine.’ And then my gut is telling me that school is really what the child and family put into it, so as long as you don’t purposefully choose one ‘in need of improvement’, everything will be fine. Besides, Kenny’s super smart, so I have every confidence he’ll breeze through Math and Science homework with the kids and help them learn no matter where they go. Haha.

Another part of the struggle is that we’ve lived in our current home for over seven years and really haven’t checked the real estate market since. Living here has taught us what we don’t want in our new home (i.e. that special old home “charm”), but we really have no clue what we DO want in terms of amenities. Our list is pretty much: we want to walk in and live there. Maybe we’ll paint. Just maybe. (Our current house drove the fixer upper lust right out of our systems. Sure, they can be a better deal and you can make them your own. But we really want to wake up on Saturdays and not worry about parging the basement walls or updating the bathroom, so I am perfectly happy walking into a beige house where all of the design decision making has been done for me. For now. Haha.)

And finally, things have changed. A lot. For instance, new homes now come with things like a central vacuum. It’s a nifty little invention that enables you to carry a lightweight vacuum and tube around your home, and you just plug it in to various outlets around your house. The thought of not having to lug my Dyson Animal around the house is appealing to me, but it probably shouldn’t be a deciding factor on where we live, right? Some of the really new homes come with solar panels. Again, appealing, but probably not a decision making factor. And while the new homes come with these intriguing things, most have no yard. Literally like a patch of grass that allows you to shimmy along the rear of your house with, uh, your rear actually dragging along the siding.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. When we move, we’ll settle into some lovely corporate housing and really turn up the heat on finding our house. We’ve set a goal to be in our new home by the time we head East for the holidays.

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