Austin Babies

WWYD: Buying a new house

DH and I had decided to start looking for a new house in December. Well stupid me went and looked at a neighborhood right down from my office and I fell in love with a couple of new construction homes. DH loved one more than the other so we put down a 100% refundable ernest money since this was the last of this floor plan and they were only building on this one site.

They finally marked out the steaks in the ground and started filling the area for the slab. Our worst fear is true though.....the back yard is small Crying. It's probably too small for any type of birthday party. It's probably about what we have now. I like this house. It's probably big enough for it to be our forever house. We aren't having any more kids, it's right around from an elementary school that is almost done with construction, it has solar panels and tons of closet/storage space. It's close to daycares, grocery stores where as our current house isn't. I love the neighborhood and it's 1 mile from my office so I could ride a bike when the weather is nice.

WWYD? Proceed with the house or go back to our original plan of waiting till December to start looking?  I've looked through some MLS listings but never saw anything that I really liked. I'm torn. I wanted a bigger yard but I'm trying to balance the back yard with the house.

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Re: WWYD: Buying a new house

  • If I LOVED the house, location, neighborhood would probably stick with the house. But for you rank your priorities and where does big backyard fall? Would you rather be closer to work or bigger yard?

     

    ETA: I have a July baby and looks like you have a August baby, will you realistically be having b-day parties in your backyard with this heat?  I did once when DD was 2 and setup a kiddy pool. Other than that it's too hot. All of her parties are going to involve a pool or being indoors.

  • We love having a small yard.  Less to water, less to mow.  We have plenty of parks around so we don't feel we need the space. 

    But we were initially disappointed with the small yard, we thought we wanted something bigger.  We loved the house so much and the price was right so we decided to sacrifice the yard.  We've never regretted it.

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  • We're currently house hunting and a big backyard/lot that backs to a greenbelt is a pretty high priority for us. However, I'm finding that most new construction houses have tiny backyards. Unless you want to look at older houses that have bigger lots, I'd probably stick with the original plan since you love the house. Though we're not willing to compromise on the size of our yard, just remember that you'll be spending most of your time inside and if the area has great parks and trails, a small yard might not be a huge deal.
  • Nessia and Ali have covered all the important points. Get the house! All my kids have summer b-days, and I've always regretted outdoor celebrations that weren't at a water park or pool. Also, given the climate and predictions for future summers, you'll be saving a lot of money and sweat.
  • Are there outdoor spaces nearby?  A neighborhood park, pool, greenbelt, etc.?  We had a decent sized yard in Austin but didn't spend much time there, we always walked across the road to the park, walked the nature trail, etc. Now that we're in the boonies (and can't walk to any parks), a big yard is important to me ... but in the city it wasn't at all.  Had we bought another house down there, I totally would've sacrificed a big yard for a house in a 'hood I liked.

    Given all the things you DO love, I wouldn't consider this a deal breaker. 

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  • imageNessia:

    If I LOVED the house, location, neighborhood would probably stick with the house. But for you rank your priorities and where does big backyard fall? Would you rather be closer to work or bigger yard?

     

    ETA: I have a July baby and looks like you have a August baby, will you realistically be having b-day parties in your backyard with this heat?  I did once when DD was 2 and setup a kiddy pool. Other than that it's too hot. All of her parties are going to involve a pool or being indoors.

    This exactly.  I have no idea how big the yard is, but FWIW...yards in Houston (where we are now) are very small, and we've learned to love it.

  • I hate the small yards in Austin. We really wanted a third acre and ended up with a quarter. However, mire important than the actual size wad that it be private. I didn't want to be able to see what my neighbors were having for dinner. But if the issue is more about space than privacy and there are other outdoor areas, you'll be okay. I would also think about when he's older - us there room for him to kick a ball around with s friend (when he's old enough to hang out my himself but not to go to the park alone)? If your timeline is flexible, you can find something that's perfect! Sorry for bad phone typing.
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  • imagemlf625:

    Given all the things you DO love, I wouldn't consider this a deal breaker. 

    Ditto.  We have a decent sized lot, but most of our backyard is taken up by a huge deck built around an above-ground pool so there's not much room for kids to play in the grass/yard.  Initially DH hated the fact that the usable yard is so small and he wasn't real keen on the pool, either, but we still decided to buy the house because we loved the house itself, the space, the storage, the neighborhood, etc.

    The bday party thing is a really good point.  Fortunately we do have the pool so DS's summer bday parties have all been pool parties, but if we didn't have it, no way would we be having his July parties outside.  We also have a neighborhood park and pool a short walk away that we go to on occasion, just for something different.

  • Big back yard was very high on our small list of priorities when house hunting. It would be a deal breaker for us overall. For us it's not the size of the yard so much as we didn't want that kind of proximity to our neighbors. I've lived in a house where I could hear conversations inside the other houses while sitting on my patio.
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  • If you're deposit is fully refundable, you're having second thoughts, and you're not in any sort of rush to move, I'd stay where you are.  I'm a Realtor and I see way too many people buy houses just to move again in a year or two because there's some aspect of the house that they didn't think through that they've come to hate.  Also, unless there's a job change or something that would require you to move across town, I'm kind of against moving into the same size house -- I feel like people should save the moves for when they're ready to upgrade or downgrade in terms of space.  

    One more thing to consider, new houses are very difficult to resell for as long as they're building other new houses in the immediate area.  Most people would rather build their own home from the ground up than buy one that someone else built to their specifications.  So if you do decide the yard isn't big enough in a couple years, selling it may be difficult. 

  • big yard was a deal breaker for us when we were looking.

    Once we found the neighborhood we scoured the lot map (with dimensions) so we could find the largest/most flat/most private yard possible.

    It's certainly possible to have a new construction house on a large lot... it just may not be in THAT neighborhood.  If you're having second thoughts... I'd start looking elsewhere.  There will always be another house you love.   

  • Um, that sounds just about perfect to me.  But then I hate hate hate yardwork and think that the less I have to take care of the better.

    It has SOLAR PANELS???  And STORAGE??? You can walk your kids to school then bike to work?  Oh, and you don't have to do ANY work to the house since it's new?  Sounds like heaven to me.

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