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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

House Hunting

We've been looking and looking to purchase a family house for us to live in. Mostly it's my husband's job to look because I don't enjoy looking, negotiating, decorating and most of the processes involved. Not too mention, looking takes away time from all the other important things I need and want to get done.

I am so tired of hearing how now is a time to buy.

It might be if you are looking for a first time home and you like fixing things up. It doesn't seem to be for us.

Some of our personal barriers include:

We have been settled into a routine: getting to office, dropping boys off at activities and other errands. I am wanting to stay close enough so we don't have to disrupt our routine too much.

Houses around here tend to be showcase homes designed for seasonal and retirement living. The most common number of bedrooms to find around here is three and I'd like a house with more spare rooms. The layouts of most houses are awkward and not practical for a family. Showcase houses don't seem right to put my family in. We are hard on a house.

People tell us we need "bedrooms" for boys. We have looked at houses that do have bedrooms but have teeny-tiny driveways. I am thinking, we might get enough bedrooms for the growing boys, but in three years will there be room for their cars? Some neighborhoods, like the one we are in, you can't use the street for parking.

The deed restrictions have advantages both ways. The restrictions may keep things looking nice. One of the biggest things I think about now is the trend towards more composting, square-foot gardening, and having a few citrus trees. Many neighborhoods around here don't allow any of that. With resales being so low and the economy so bad, I am thinking that this restriction should be lifted by homeowners associations to increase interest in the neighborhood. I've never had much luck in the way of gardening (except for some simple herbs)but I have held back a bit from pursuing particular houses because I don't want to permanently limit the option. I am certainly not the only one who doesn't want to be restricted permanently. After a year of composting, I don't want to chance that I can't expand on outdoor living.

I miss having a pool. Being in a pool is good evening quality time activity for my family. I am frustrated our neighborhood doesn't allow evening swimming. I might be more motivated to stay if this need was satisfied. Many a busy day, I can't seem to relax til late evening. How I miss that relaxation time, especiallyin the hot summer. What I like most about the neighborhood I am in is that I feel safe walking and bike riding, even late at night.

My husband has been looking at country club house where many of the doctors live--nice big houses and it's possible to have a descent yard and walk at night. Ug. It is much further West and would not be very convenient to my current routine. In our own neighborhood, the big homes tend to still be three bedroom and not offering a whole lot of reason to move out of the one we are in. We've looked at acreage and not found what would be suitable. We've looked on the water. We have looked at building. I am sure we would kill each other if we had to build from scratch.

We have a very comfortable roof over our heads. I am not complaining at all about that. I am very grateful for the house I've been in and the simplicity as I chose to start up a new practice and not have to worry about much yard and maintenance. If we were moving from out of town we'd just have to pick. With a comfortable roof it adds an element of holding out for a good investment.

There is so little inventory and subsequently not much on deals. My husband has made verbal offers and written contracts. One day I'll be surprised when just the right thing comes through!

4 comments:

Mama K said...

Oh, wow, tough decisions! I'm glad your husband handles this stuff. I wouldn't want to have to think about it any more that necessary if it were me in your place. I would have a hard time living in a community with such (to me, intrusive) rules. I like my freedom! Hope you find just what you want.

crispy said...

Interesting thought on the deed restrictions. WOW, your current one sounds really strict. No night swimming.

I have formed my own thoughts on the whole HOA/deed restrictions. I agree, these are a blessing and a curse. They can help the neighborhood look nice. Limits people leaving old refrigerators on the front porch and old couches in the yard. BUT...I hate how they are "telling me how to live". And most "neighborhoods" are really housing developments and it changes the feel.

I hope you are able to find just the right thing for you guys and it fits your needs and wants perfectly.

ScienceGeek said...

I admit I've been tempting in this market to want to buy "more house" for less money. But while buying a new house might be easy, selling our current home would be hard. We live in a gated community and there are SOOOO many houses for sale. When we built here, the houses were selling for so much that we instantly had a lot of equity in our house. With the price of houses now so low, and several houses in the neighborhood going through foreclosure, the home values have dropped. It's kind of discouraging, and so we think it's wise for us to stay put.

Becky R said...

At least you don't have to move. That being the case you can wait for the perfect house for your family. -Becky

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