House Hunting

So as many of you know, Ryan and I are hoping to buy a house sometime this year – maybe around Summer depending how taxes go. We looked at 2 sets of new homes in Dublin this past weekend and in doing so, forced me to think what it is I really want. We both have decided that Pleasant Hill is not for us – it’s flat-out boring although it’s close to San Francisco. Once Olivia gets older, I would like to take her to SF for farmer’s market Saturday morning, to the zoo, museums, picnics at the beach and right now, all this is roughly 20-30min away. If we move to the Tri-Valley, we’ll be tacking on another 20min. I’m torn because I like the comfort in knowing with a new house, most things are in working condition – you typically get more storage, bigger kitchens, newer pipes, insulation but most new houses are ‘cookie cutters’ and that’s so blah. I love the architecture of older homes but they come with their fair share of issues – as we’ve learned living in a 60 year old house! Neither myself or Ryan are the fixer-upper sort but there is something exciting and cute about older homes – they have so much more character. So hence my dilemna.

Now that I’m staying home full time, I’ve become very conscious of the fact that I’m now a suburban housewife. Yeesh – I kinda hate that term and the stigma revolving around it. I understand suburbia is probably the best place to raise a family – low crime, better schools, being able to ride your bike in the street but it can be so boring and I want this child to be somewhat cultured. I can’t imagine living in a big city either with a child – I can’t even imagine trying to manuever a stroller on muni. What is the happy medium? Ryan and I are still very young folks and the idea of setting up camp in suburbia for the rest of our lives is a little depressing. Right now our main activities for the day are going to Target and the mall. Obviously every other mother has the same idea because when I go to either of these places during the week, I enter the stroller parade. I used to roll my eyes at these women thinking is there anything else they can do and now I have a little understanding. I’m going to fight though with every instinct in my body to not succumb to this. Strip malls and chain food restaurants – this can’t be life as I know it???


8 responses to “House Hunting”

  1. I’m not crazy about the idea of living in "Chain-Land" either but like any major decision there are trade offs – both good and bad. I think the key is to figure that this first home we buy will likely not be the last so it’s doesn’t have to be viewed as "FOREVER" but I know what you mean.

    I’d love to hear other’s perspectives if they would be inclined to share their views.

  2. Hi Jen,

    We met briefly one day at E-LOAN when you brought Madeline to the office when she was a puppy……First off, congratulations to you and Ryan on your lovely little girl, Olivia ~ she is a cutie!

    I wanted to give my opinion on new homes versus older ones. I have lived in two brand new homes (both in Tracy) and really liked them, until we moved to San Ramon 3 years ago and moved into a 1970’s home that had been totally remodeled and we have also done a lot of the non-sexy expensive upgrades – HA! I LOVE the idea of older architecture and the newness of granite, etc in the kitchen. So that would be my two cents on that, which brings me to another point – Since E-LOAN is folding, my last day with them is this Friday, January 9th and my husband and I are going to relocate out of State, so our house is going up for sale is this crazy market! I know you said Summer was your target, but thought I’d let you know…..

    We live off of Pine Valley – the older part of San Ramon (near great schools too – an elementary, middle and high school all within walking distance). Our house also sits on Iron Horse Trail (the one for riding bikes, running, walking, etc.) so no back neighbors! It’s not a huge house, but it is one story: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and has a nice BIG kitchen! We don’t have kids, only two bullies (Mia & Mario) and Jeremy has a home office like Ryan would need and it has an exit door to the "doggie yard", which has been ideal for us.

    So there ya go – If you are interested at all, just get in touch with me via email. If not, no worries I thought I would put it out there ~ We are ready to escape California!!!

    Take good care – Good luck with parenthood and finding a good balance in life! I know what you mean about Target – I went there during the day today and all I saw were stay at home Mom’s and retired folks (no offense! =)

    Please send my best to Ryan too – I’m so glad to see that his business is a success, that is so awesome!


  3. Hi Traci,

    Thanks for the offer but we’re looking for at least 4 bedrooms – we have 3 now and it’s just not enough between the office and O’s bedroom. That’s another thing I’ve discovered about older homes – they don’t have alot of bedrooms and you’re lucky if you can find 2 bathrooms!
    Good luck with your move – I hear ya about escaping California!

  4. What about that cozy 1-bed, 1 bath house built in 1923 in Birmingham Ala? I mean sure, it’s suffered some fire damage and the listing states the "rooms are hard to distinguish", but it’s only $1900!

  5. Hi, My name is christine,and I am one of the owners of Futures Best Nursery Academy in Fort Lee.I would like to Let you know about our summer program. Each week has a " theme", for example our first week, July 5th-9th is western week. One day will be having square dance lessons another will be making a wagon and so forth. We also have picnic days and sprinkler days daily. Please feel free to call or stop by to see all the other creative and exciting things we have in store for our kids this summer. jjvmhq jjvmhq – Belstaff Coat.

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