The Journey Out West



suburban livingMy wife and I went to a family get-together last weekend.  It was a great time.  We found out that my aunt and uncle are gearing up to retire and move down south.  They are planning to build a gorgeous home on a piece of real estate by the beach.  Needless to say, they are incredibly excited.


I tried to convince my wife that we should also move down to the beach to maximize our Vitamin D intake.  That didn’t work, but I did consider an alternative.  I commented to my wife, off-handedly, that we should consider buying the home that my relatives would be selling shortly.  They live about 15-20 minutes west of us.


As most of you know, I recently switched jobs.  The location of my new job makes it palatable to move a little further out from the city.  This means that we would also be able to get a little more bang for our buck, as you’ll see below.  


DC Metro Home Prices

According to the first chart below, home prices are somewhat evenly priced in the Washington DC area.  Suburban home values peaked in 2006 but fell back in line with urban home values in the past couple of years.  In the second chart below, you can see that the bang-for-your-buck is much better in the suburbs, compared to urban, when you consider the price you pay per square foot.

journey out west

journey out west



Millennial Home Buyers

suburban livingAccording to Dowell Myers, a professor of Demography and Urban Planning at USC, demand peaked in 2015 from Millennials seeking housing in central American cities, but that demand should continue to flatline and eventually decrease over the next decade.  


This is because many millennials are reaching the age of starting families, with many families seeking more space to raise children.  In turn, that may mean that prices out in the suburbs may start to increase again, like they did in the mid-2000s.


I’m not trying to time the housing market, but it is somewhat comforting knowing that I shouldn’t be too hurt by moving a little further out in terms of my home’s value.


My Relative’s House

suburban livingBack to my relatives’ house– it is a gorgeous home that they bought brand new when they had a growing family a little over 20 years ago.  It is a really spacious, practical home with a few really nice upgrades.  Plus, they have an incredible lot with a huge backyard that backs up to the woods, and they live at the end of a cul-de-sac.  While it feels private in their cul-de-sac, there are lots of houses in the neighborhood.  It is reminiscent of the neighborhood where my wife and I grew up in that regard.  


My Neighborhood Growing Up

suburban livingQuick fun fact that some of you may know– my wife and I grew up seven houses from each other.  I was a couple of years older than her, so we didn’t overlap in school, but she definitely remembers selling my mom girl scout cookies (which ended up in my stomach).  For the record, Thin Mints are the best.  So all that to say, we have similar fond memories of growing up in a large neighborhood full of kids.


My Famous Neighbor

Although, not everyone felt that way.  In the early 1990s, Hall of Famer Darrell Green of the Washington Redskins moved into our neighborhood.  This was clearly before NFL players were making big money because there is no chance that any NFL player would move there today.  I ran into him about a year ago at a Marriage Conference that he was part of at my church.  


suburban livingSince I am a diehard Redskins fan, I have always wanted to meet him.  But as a little kid, I was too chicken to ever get his autograph when he lived in my neighborhood.  I actually had an official NFL football in my closet, still in the packaging, that was designated for Darrell Green to sign.  In the offseason, he use to run up and down the neighborhood bike trail next to my house.  I always dreamed that one day, I would have the football ready to have him sign it after his workout.


Unfortunately, that never happened.  Plus, Darrell Green was the fastest man in the NFL.  There is no chance even during his cool-down run that I was ever going to catch up to him.  Oh, the dreams of a 8-year-old boy.  


So when I finally had my chance to meet him at that Marriage Conference, I summed up the courage to introduce myself to him and then mentioned in passing that we use to live in the same neighborhood.  


He responded saying, “We moved from that house because there weren’t enough kids in that neighborhood.”  I have to admit this took me aback because to me, there seemed to be TONS of kids in the neighborhood.  Oh well, it was an interesting perspective to say the least.  I guess perception is everything.


Assessing My Relatives’ House

suburban livingAnyways, back to my relatives’ house.  So my wife and I decided to drive through the neighborhood to get a feel for it.  I hadn’t seen it in a long time, and I wanted to see if my wife and I could envision ourselves living there.  We also decided to check out a couple of other homes on the market in the area so that we could get a feel for the area, the prices, and my potential commute.  


Since it had been a few years since I had visited my relatives, I wasn’t sure if the house would be in the pristine condition that I remembered it.  Well, it was even better than I remembered.  It looked fantastic.  We loved the neighborhood and all of the open space.


The One, Big Negative

suburban livingEverything seemed like a positive, other than the fact that traffic gets bad in that area.  There is really only one route in and out of that area, and that highway gets backed up for miles and miles during rush hour traffic.  


So we continued to drive around and came across a couple of more housing developments that we had identified beforehand.  Honestly, they paled in comparison to my relatives’ home, so we immediately crossed them off the list.  


Another Interesting Prospect

suburban livingHowever, we eventually did come across a neighborhood that really pulled at my wife and my heart strings.  Every home in this housing development is on a five acre plot.  Some of the homes in that neighborhood were massive, multi-million dollar houses, too.  The house that we were looking seemed to be the smallest house there, and it was affordable for us because it had recently gone through foreclosure.


It was bank-owned since the former owners could not sell it.  The yard was a mess with brush everywhere, and it was apparent that no one had tended to upkeep.  But we tried our best to look past it and could see great bones and most of the needed work as cosmetic.  


Home Repairs

suburban livingI’m sure the home needs a ton of upgrades and fixes.  With Youtube today, I figure I can try to fix anything.  If it doesn’t work out, I can always call a professional.  Although, I also have an ace up my sleeve as my Dad is probably the handiest man that I know.  So I figure between his brains and handiness and my strong back, that we can fix anything together.  



Our biggest concerns actually didn’t even have to do with the house itself at all, though.  The homes were just too spaced out for me.  I didn’t think it would be good to be so isolated from neighbors.  Of course the introvert in me loved it, but that doesn’t mean that is what is best for me and my family.  There also weren’t any sidewalks, which was a big red flag to me.


Neighborhood Kids

suburban livingI immediately thought of my son.  I wondered who he would play with right after school.  Neighborhood friends are just so convenient.  As a kid, I looked forward to jumping off the bus everyday and grabbing a couple of friends.  We’d ride bikes around the neighborhood or play football and basketball.  It was an amazing childhood to have so many friends available.  I would hate for my son to feel isolated and to solely rely on formal playdates.


So while my wife and I loved the house itself, I’m not sure that we’ll be able to pull the trigger.  Eventually, we still hope to move farther out.  There is no need to stay close to the city since I don’t work there.  In the meantime, we’ll keep casually looking until we find the right home for us.


Readers, what do you think?  Do your kids help determine your living situation as it does for us?  Or do you look past those details and focus on the other things?  Share your thoughts below.

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    • I definitely agree Rich Growth!!! We definitely are taking into consideration living close to family and friends. It’s nice to have these built in relationships when you move to a new place 🙂

  1. We currently rent but have friends who are about to become home owners real soon. Finding the perfect home is indeed difficult.

    Children do play a big part in the home-buying decision. The safety of the neighborhood is a deciding factor as well. Good schools close by are a big plus. But the thing that mattered most to our friends is having family nearby.

    However, seeing how we live a few countries apart from our family, this won’t be much of a factor when we decide to buy a home 😀 But I’m sure children will definitely be a huge influence on the final decision.
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    • Thanks for sharing Adriana!!! I don’t think I realized how important children were going to be. I thought as long as I got into a good school district that things would be fine. But I didn’t factor in the potential wants of having my son having friends in the neighborhood weighed in as heavily as it does 🙂

  2. MSM, once we had our second child we moved to the suburbs so we could have some additional space and be around other families. We didn’t know it at the time, but we would be surrounded by families with kids roughly the same age as our kids. Now the neighborhood is one big family that celebrates birthdays, holidays, etc. together. Of course, you can’t plan that out exactly, but living in a neighborhood that’s family oriented and with enough proximity to each other certainly increases your chances. I love it now and don’t really want to move anytime soon (even though we had always planned on moving a few years later). I guess it depends on what you value the most. Good luck!

    • Thanks for sharing Michael!!! I would love to get into a neighborhood like that where everyone is one big family. My wife and I talk all the time about how wonderful that would be 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!!!

    • Hahaha…I have a 20 minute commute now and am incredibly thankful 🙂 Prior to that it was a 45-60 minute commute everyday.

      So I’m not going to complain too much but if I can get closer that would definitely make me happier.

      Thanks as always for stopping by!!!

  3. The lack of sidewalks and neighborhood kids is the biggest downside to our current house. We bought a modest but not huge home 11 years ago, back when we had one small kid who was two years old. Now we have three kids, and although there’s plenty of room to play, we’re rather isolated. Part of the appeal of the house was the fact that you can’t see the neighbors, and we have an acre and a half of land. Occasionally I’ll think about moving in town but to a different neighborhood that has kids and is more walkable, but I don’t really want to go through the hassle and cost of moving the household now. So it’s a good thing you’re thinking about it now!
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  4. Hey MSM. I think choosing where to live is one of the biggest decisions a person can make with regard to quality of life (after your choice of spouse and career, probably). We also live in a very high priced area, so we had to choose between living in the suburbs (less expensive, more space) or in an urban neighborhood (short commute, walkable neighborhood). We will be moving back to the urban neighborhood after returning from overseas and here’s why.

    Our kids will be happiest if we are happy parents. We know we would be miserable parents with hour long commutes to and from a neighborhood with no amenities. What we’ve seen by experience is that the kids pick up on this and it shapes their tastes as well. My boys love walking to restaurants, taking the subway, and living in an apartment building with a pool. The schools in the area are good, and more diverse than suburban schools.

    This is a very personal choice and not for everyone. It’s VERY expensive to rent, we have no more than 1200 square feet, and we don’t have a yard. But it also pushed us to get outside and stay active, and we love it. Just one man’s experience! Good luck –R
    Rich @ recently posted…Rich’s Plan To Build A Generational Family Legacy. Uh, Yeah, In 3 Easy Steps!My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Rich!!! I definitely do not want to be that miserable guy from Falling Down stuck in traffic and hating my life. Plus who wants to waste their time in traffic when they could be hanging out with their kiddos 🙂 Thanks as always for stopping by!!!

  5. When we were searching for a family home, my wife insisted that it has to be in a top ranking school and has enough space for the family to grow. For me, my wish list was convenient for our daily work lives and access to public transit. Being a realtor, I also put a lot of considerations into resale values as we will most likely sell our home one day. Last, but not least, location, location, location.
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    • Resale for us would definitely be in the city. I feel like a ton of my single friends are in the city while a bunch of my friends are moving out west with their kiddos. So location wise and resale wise I couldn’t go wrong with the city 🙂 But since I’m not required to work in the city I don’t have to be there 🙂

  6. We live on 2 acres in the country & like it. For our children it would be nice having access to bike trails, etc. when they get older. But, at least we don’t really have to worry about scary neighbors or hear the constant sound of traffic. Plus, for our jobs, our current commute is less than 15 minutes.
    Josh @MoneyBuffalo recently posted…Why We Said Goodbye to Our Financial AdvisorMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Josh!!! I would love to live on 2 acres and not think about neighbors 🙂 Now if only I could convince my wife that walkability was overrated. Thanks as always for stopping!!!

  7. We live rurally on a one acre plot. There are kids in the neighborhood my son’s ages. The road is a one lane private drive so they can walk house to house.You know what though? We still end up taking our kids out to places like the library or children’s museum more then they play outside. Cold weather, busy schedules, and everything else conspire to keep them from playing with neighbors at home… Just something to think about.
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    • Thanks for stopping by FullTimeFinance!!! That’s a great point. Today there are so many things that can fill up our schedules that it may not even matter where we live 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!!

  8. I’m glad you shared this. We don’t know if we’ll be moving yet or where to, but we’re discussing pros and cons of buying vs. renting, in town vs. country living, etc. I hadn’t thought of the positives of being in a neighborhood for the kids to have playmates, but that would be great! We’re kind of leaning towards a more rural setup, as we have been living in a house that’s really close to neighbors (as in, we share a driveway). Yards are small, and we’re interested in more space, for kids to run and a garden and just overall breathing room. I hope you guys figure out where you want to be and it’s great for you!
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    • Thanks for stopping by Mrs. COD!!! I would definitely like a little more room than sharing a drive way with our neighbors 🙂 While I’d love for my son to have friends I definitely understand not wanting to be that close 🙂

  9. You will regret moving due to the new commute 🙂

    Once you retire early though it won’t matter. Eventually, I want to move out in the suburbs with my family because the schools are better there than in the urban Minneapolis/St. Paul area. In addition, to your first point, the housing prices are increasing each year.

    In 2 years, my Zestimate has increased 70k. Crazy stuff.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
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    • Wow that’s incredible how quickly your Zestimate has increased. Our house has gone up but not nearly at that type of pace. Sounds like you made a terrific buy. Thanks for sharing!!!

  10. The issue of where to live and buy vs. rent is something I am constantly thinking about. For the longest time I thought it was very important to own a home and set up a solid foundation for the kids to grow up in and around. Lately, I’ve been leaning more towards the idea of traveling a large part of the year using airbnb and staying in different cities/countries for months at a time. While this wouldn’t provide the traditional foundation of a home for the kids to grow up in, I think it is a situation that they could potentially thrive in, by learning/immersing themselves in to new cultures. Of course we have to reach FI first, so we are at least 4 years away before a decision has to be made.

    • That’s an incredible idea Stafford!!! I would love to take my son around the world and show him the historic sites instead of letting him read it in text books. That’s definitely a great idea to consider!!!

  11. Hey MSM, that sounds like a great opportunity for both you and your relatives. It makes the buying and selling process a little easier when you know and trust each other rather than trying to price gouge. Housing prices in North Carolina have been on the rise in recent years, especially Raleigh & Charlotte. Based on our previous and forward-looking investment returns, for us it doesn’t make sense to allocate capital towards a home at the moment. We continue to rent and are waiting for the next recession to purchase when undervalued. I know that everyone’s situation is different, especially if children are in the mix. I look forward to hearing what y’all decide!

    • Thanks for stopping by Holden!!! My have some friends and family in the Raleigh and Charlotte area that have been trying to get us to move down there for awhile. If I had some flexibility on where I could work I would definitely move down there. I have heard so many great things about North Carolina. Maybe one day 🙂

  12. Wow, awesome! Yeah I can’t imagine house prices in the DC area–yikes. In Texas you can get a nice house like we did for $145k. Gotta love those low prices. 🙂 I think kids are definitely a big consideration when you move. It also comes down to schools and what kind of influence your kiddos will grow up with around the neighborhood, too.

    That really sucks about the traffic. I grew up outside a major metro area in Texas and my parents had a one-hour commute each way to work. Every. Day. The traffic isn’t something to take too lightly–it’ll cut down on the amount of time you can enjoy the house as well as extra wear and tear on your vehicle.

    Still, go for it if it’s right for ya!
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    • Oh man I would not mind living in Texas especially if I could get a house for $145k. If I could convince my family to move down there I could probably retire right now 🙂

  13. Neighborhood and community are factors when choosing a new home with children. It was a factor when we purchased our house. As our children have gotten older, some of the friendships on the block have changed and their circle of friends has widened behind just the block. Smart phones and social media play a big part in how kids communicate and gather today too. It’s not often that our kids just hit the block without having communicated a plan over group chat first.
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    • That’s a great point Brian!!! I remember that communication back when I was growing up was talking to my friends on the bus to hang out. I’m sure now they’re all on Snap planning after school activities 🙂

  14. It’s tough and definitely a very personal choice. We factored in a lot of things when buying our home… cost, location in terms of commute, neighborhood, and quality of schools. Unfortunately for the Bay Area, finding a place that checks all of the marks is quite expensive. Like $1 million expensive. In the end we decided on a nice, family-oriented neighborhood with decent schools. Our commutes were long for a few years, but we’ve changed hospital locations and our commutes are 10-15 minutes.

    Best of luck with your decision!
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    • Thanks for stopping by SRGO!!! I have two friends that moved to the Bay Area from the DC area and both of them were shocked at the pricing and they thought they were prepared for it 🙂 I keep wondering when prices in the Bay Area are going to start decreasing. At some point you’d think some of those silicon valley ceo’s would say we can offer a better lifestyle in another city. But I guess we’ll see.

  15. You should definitely pick up the book “Happy City” before moving. I haven’t finished it yet, but I bet you’ll find it pretty interesting. Don’t underestimate the misery of commuting, but ultimately a neighborhood with kids of a similar age is very desirable. The trouble with more established neighborhoods is the timing on when they “flip” to younger generations. You could find yourself on the leading edge, waiting for your closest neighbors to sell to a younger family. That’s what happened to us. Although our neighborhood is full of kids, our immediate block of houses has none.
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    • Thanks for the recommendation on Happy City!!! I’ll have to check it out. Based on your observation about established neighborhoods I think my wife and I will probably drive through on a nice day on a Saturday/Sunday. It’d be nice to get a feel for who’s out playing and how many kiddos are around 🙂

  16. Planning where to live with kids definitely makes you consider a LOT more than where you live without kids. We live in a small suburb right outside of Philly. There are areas further from the city that we would LOVE to live in, but since we both work in the city, our commutes would be an hour+ each way! So we settle for 15-30 minute commutes in a nice neighborhood, with good schools.
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  17. Nice post and good luck with the search. We moved 25 min away from the city and money went way further.. everyone who comes overy is shocked. We have just under a acre. We live in a subdivision where everyone has half acre to acre. There is only 1 street into our survey. There is no sidewalks. It has turned out to be amazing. The kids play everywhere we know alot of people and it’s safe. The neighbourhood even sets up a santa to go around at xmas each yr. We didn’t know all this in the winter when we bought it. We bought a fixer upper. The bedroom and living room lights didn’t work (wired wrong) I dunno how the old owners did it. There were holes in the walls. Moldy bathroom, dog piss carpets not one window in the house opened etc etc. Slowly but surely.I redid it all. I highly recommend it to anyone. My wife was worried but I convinced her. Now it’s amazing and we couldn’t of bought it if it was nice. The commute really isn’t that bad when your sitting outside with your cold beer realising you don’t have 30 neighbour’s looking into your backyard. (Our old house was a townhouse condo) As for kids being a factor. He was. Hes 4 and it was perfect timing before we didnt have a big yard so he would be on ipad all the time. Now we try to be outside as much as we can. Fires, soccer, trampoline, pool etc. Reminds me of when i was a kid. My parents didnt have a big yard but we (me and my friends) always hung out at the bush. Country life for the win! Wish u the best of luck
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    • You definitely make the country lifestyle sound enticing. I would definitely love for my son to roam free in a safe environment. Plus I’d rather him stay off the ipad and run around outside 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!!

  18. So glad I bought those Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies from the pretty little neighborhood girl! Lesson to be learned: Don’t ever say NO to a Girl Scout armed with cookies. She may become your daughter-in-law someday!!

  19. Like you, we live the DC metro area (Maryland side) and the house prices can get out of control depending on what neighborhood you are in. When our sons were around 10/11, we moved to our current home. Although the price was more than we wanted to pay and the house is actually bigger than we wanted, it satisfied all the other criteria.

    Quiet cul-de-sac, enough kids their age, over an acre lot so we aren’t right on top of our neighbors, better schools, and still close to work. It actually sounds similar to your relatives house.

    And I do miss Darrell Green… those were the good ol’ days of Redskins football.
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    • The Redskins are a bit of a mess these days. It definitely is not as much fun as it was when I was a kid. I remember all of my friends and I were Redskins fans. Now a days I see kids wearing jersey’s from every team except the Redskins. Shows you how far they have fallen in the area.

  20. No kids here so can’t speak to that. Our neighborhood falls in the less bang for your buck category. We love the area as it’s close to everything and it’s an older neighborhood with a lot of character. All our friends are moving further out where you can buy a large house for less money, but we like our area too much to follow suit.
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    • Thanks for sharing Go Finance Yourself!!! My wife loves older neighborhoods with character. Although where we live there is a lot more new construction out west than older homes.

  21. Funny to see some comments from others about sidewalks. This was something i never thought of before, but was a ‘must have’ for my wife.

    The traffic being difficult is a huge minus in my opinion. But I do joke routinely about buying a big ranch in Montana with no one near me to get away from the much more crowded area i currently live in.
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    • Thanks for sharing!!! I don’t think I realized how nice it was to have curbs and sidewalks until I moved into a neighborhood with them. It definitely makes for a nice neighborhood 🙂

  22. I live in the DC area too and I remember when I was buying my house, the exact same model home in Hagerstown MD was HALF the price. Of course the key thing really is location and your paying for the land and area you choose to live in. We have a lot of family close by and that is a big… biggest reason as to why we are where we are. It really helps in a lots of ways!
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  23. Great analysis of all the pros and cons. I think many people fall in love with a home despite the neighborhood or a neighborhood despite the home. Both are important if you plan to live there long term which I consider 5+ years. On that note, I don’t think anyone should by a home unless they plan to live there for 5+ years but that’s a whole other story!

    Anywho, the neighborhood you and your wife grew up in sounds similar to mine. We were always outside running around and making up games. We didn’t get a Nintendo until they were a few years old but looking back we didn’t really spend daytime hours using it – that was for nighttime when we had to come in. WE have two teens in the house and I find it such a shame many kids spend more time inside than out these days. You are doing the right thing by looking to have a good neighborhood with kids to give an alternative choice to your son. I can’t wait to hear more of your house hunt in the future!!
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    • Thanks for sharing Miss Mazuma!!! Nintendo was only for days when it was too cold to play outside or when it was raining. Otherwise we were out running around having fun 🙂

      I definitely would love for my son to experience that same type of childhood.

  24. My kids absolutely were the number one reason why we bought a house where we live. The lots are fairly small for a suburb, about 0.20, there are sidewalks, the schools are good, and it just so happens to be 3.5 miles from my current work, also in the suburbs.

    I can’t imagine living in a more sprawly area without sidewalks. We have a publix grocery store within a mile if we need something, and we have walked there as well and I sometimes bike there, if I am in a hurry. I grew up in sprawl isolation, and the lack of kids and close neighbors made me never to want to do this again. Therefore, we are staying put. No moving to the quasi farmland for me. Humans are social creatures, and convenience is important for me and our wallet.
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    • Thanks for sharing FinancePatriot!!! I would love to live in a neighborhood like you do. Having a three mile commute along with a grocery store a mile away. That sounds like a terrific lifestyle to me. Definitely something for us to shoot for.

  25. For me, the kids take priority, within reason. I’m not going to commute 90 minutes just for a “perfect” home.

    Good school, safe neighborhood, reasonable cost, and a reasonable commute are the top factors for my family. For now, that means squeezing into a small townhouse, but it will be interesting when we move East in a few years where we end up landing. I’d like it to be similar to my upbringing as well, but you never know what the future will bring.
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    • Thanks for sharing Jack!!! I definitely agree with the within reason aspect!!! As much as I’d love to get into the very best school in the county, there is no chance that I can afford it. Plus my wife who went there said it wasn’t that great 🙂 Plus on top of that school rankings in our county have been changing around to what the “hot” school to attend is. So we’ll see what the future holds.

  26. Interesting! We ended up moving out of our suburban neighborhood to a country home on 7.6 acres – for the sake of the kids. The kids in the town were becoming just a bit too entitled and bored. They were turning to vandalism and recklessness due to very little supervision (working parents who worked too many hours and had too many social gatherings to have time to be with the kids). Now there are little to no kids in our immediate area, but the kids are SO happy. People love coming to visit us because it’s so peaceful and beautiful out here in the country, and we stay active with friends and church stuff even with the longer drive. I guess we’ve just gotten used to having things further away. The kids love the space to run and don’t have to worry about neighborhood bullies or the peeping toms that would occasionally grace our semi-affluent neighborhood. They’re learning how to care for animals and grow and preserve their own food. It’s not for everybody, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world. 🙂 Rob, you’ll know where and when to move. Go with your gut. It’s usually right on.

    • Thanks for sharing Laurie!!! My wife’s dream is to one day move to the country and have some goats and chickens. So we’ll definitely be praying about the right place and see what the Lord has in store for us 🙂

  27. I would have jumped on that foreclosed house with the 5 acre lot. I bet that would have made you the most money when it comes time to sell.

    I purchased a foreclosure in 2014 for $98k and now my zestimate is $168k! I know zestimates are off, but this one is within at least $10k based off the other houses sold prices nearby.

    Another reason is that I grew up on a farm on the edges of a suburban area. Nobody within walking distance, but I still had plenty of fun playing at friend’s houses – just had to have my mom pick me up!

    That is just me though, and home buying is a large and personal decision. You will pick the best house for your family, it will just take some searching. 🙂
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    • Thanks for sharing MrDoublingDown!!! My Dad really wants me to take a 2nd look at the house and to walk through. I don’t know if my wife is as interested but we might visit this weekend for fun 🙂 I’ll definitely be posting an update if we change our minds 🙂

      • I would definitely look at it with $ $ eyes like in a cartoon.

        You really want to be buying the ugliest house on the block at a nice discount as that is the most profitable house there is. The neighborhood you described sounds like one that will always be in the upper echelons of whatever town it is located in.

        If you get it, I bet you will see a large net worth bonus from it years from now.
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  28. Many years ago I purchased a house on a five acre lot. The property was previously farmland for livestock grazing, so all of it was grass that needed to be mowed.

    I don’t know how much of the five acre property that you are considering will need to be mowed, but I strongly recommend you consider this before making any purchasing decision. Since your future neighbors live in “massive, multi-million dollar houses”, I’d also bet that you will feel pressure to keep your lawn well maintained.

    When I originally purchased my 5 acre property, I attempted to keep it mowed with just a 26 hp 50″ Craftsman riding lawn mower. A few years later, I added a 60″ Swisher pull mower that I pulled behind my riding mower. And a few more years later, I finally upgraded to a John Deere 35hp 4410 hydrostatic Diesel tractor with 6ft belly mower.

    But even the tractor didn’t keep me from wanting an escape. During the growing season the entire weekend was dedicated to mowing… mow on Saturday and recover on Sunday.

    Also keep in mind that maintaining 5 acres in good condition is not a frugal activity. In addition to the numerous purchases that I mentioned above, I used about 5 gallons of gas (before the diesel tractor) each time I mowed the lawn.

    We moved from that property about 11 years ago to our current location with a 1 acre property. I am very happy about getting my weekends back.

    We are now considering moving again since my commute has increased due to a recent job change. I’m wanting to take MMM’s advice and move to a location where I can walk or ride my bike to work with the end goal of eliminating one of our vehicles. We are also placing a strong emphasis on schools since the quality of the public schools can vary widely in our area.

    Good luck on your decision. And I hope this comment doesn’t haunt you.

    • Thank you for the tremendous advice!!! I definitely think living on 5 acres would be a ton of work and honestly it’s something that excites me and scares me. I’d love to have the land but the amount of work (money) definitely makes me have 2nd thoughts. Your perspective only confirms some of my fears.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

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