Monday, November 16, 2009

What would you do?

As if I haven't already had to make enough agonizing decisions of late, now I can't decide what to do about the house we are considering purchasing. Once again I find myself in a quandry. I'll say this, tho, it has definitely taken my mind off my impending chemo, lol!

Here's the deal: Love, love, love the house. Did I mention that I love it? It is almost perfect. While it is at the tippy top of our price range it is quite doable. Thankfully the house doesn't need any work to move in. Even my furniture will all fit just right. All I will need to purchase is a new computer desk for me to write at, with an incredible view to gaze upon while I ponder, I might add.

So, what's the problem, you may be asking?

The house is on a VERY busy street. It's a county road, just two lanes...but the speed limit is 50mph. It's also in the middle of a straight run of secluded woods, meaning some folks tend to go faster than recommended. The house itself is only shy of 25 feet from the road's edge. That feels pretty close.

Of course first and foremost I'm worried about the kids. I also know that between the fact that we are the epitome of over protective parents and that children do grow up and learn not to run out into busy roads, Daniel & Megan would no doubt always be safe. But there is that idea of a slim chance, that awful reality that if they somehow pulled away or got careless at just the wrong moment and went a couple dozen feet away from our front door they could be....well, I don't even want to say it.

And talk about life imitating art! In my novel, for those that don't know, the family lost a son about the age of my own because he was sadly struck by a car when he managed to get out of the house unbeknownst to the parents. Now, these parents were wrapped up in their own issues and were careless...I'd like to think that would never happen to us. I'd have child safety locks on my child safety locks I'm that nuts about keeping my kids protected. But still, it gave me an uneasy feeling to think that here I am writing about a child being tragically killed by a car and I decide to put my own children more in harms way than they are now.

Now, let me say there is a sturdy little picket fence across most of the front of the property which we could continue to essentially completely block access. Also, with the addition of a simple gravel driveway the door which the family could come & go from, seen here between the well and the tree, is much further from the street than the official front probably at least 50 feet...and that area of the yard is blocked by not one but two fences (thanks to it being behind the garden). And further -- most of the entire 2.5 acres of land is behind the house and practically 2 acres of it. There's plenty of room to play and explore (with supervision) far, far away from any danger. You can see the back yard is quite expansive in this picture.

I should also add that Michael is very artistic and handy...he has wonderful carpentry skills and is a folk-artist in his own right. This property being on a main drag would open up the opportunity of him selling some of his work, we could even spruce up the little old barn and open it as a sort of impromptu rustic shop/gallery now and then. In fact, we once considered buying commercial property to have a little shop so this is not a new idea. What with the garden and perrenials and herbs, we could also do up a little farm stand right there by the road side -- there's even a small parking lot already there.

In terms of noise, when things are quiet inside (rare in a house w/kids, lol) you do hear the cars go by, but not as loudly as you might think. I believe that this old house has rather thick walls because the sounds from outdoors are kind of muffled. The nice thing too is that the main living room is at the back of the house so it the most quiet. Even with a screen door open I was surprised at how buffered the noise was -- but it can always be heard, no denying it. Where I live now is pretty quiet. It's also not a busy street...because of a blind curve I don't let my kids play or walk by themselves, but hours can go by without a car. I'm a bit sensitive to noises so this is all a concern.

I am back and forth about this. We bought our small home 15 years ago and intended it to be either a starter house or something we expanded. Yet in all these years we have looked at many houses, never finding one we wanted to make an offer on, good houses here are hard to come by. The house in question is move in ready, larger than my home now. It clearly oozes charm. But my present house is kinda cute too and could be easily expanded, maybe even for less money...and while we have a smaller amount of land (1/2 acre) we also back up to protected woods, just like the other house.

What would you do? How do you feel about busy streets? Would that preclude you from buying what otherwise could be your dream home?

Should I stay or should I go?


Kendra said...

I say you have listed so many more PROS than CONS. And the cons you have listed can easily be lived with and worked around with slight changes to your habits and routines. I think you soul could really use the charm and whimsy on the new house. So follow your soul, hun, you deserve to!

Lesa said...

I agree with Kendra!

Jean said...

I live on what is considered to be a main road, and while it might seem quite busy sometimes you do get used to it after a while. I don't hear the noise of the traffic anymore and I love this house. The main road wouldn't put me off, but you have to make that decision for your family. Good luck with it!

Kayleigh said...

Thanks everyone!

Kendra, it's so funny you said that about the pros & cons -- I hadn't even noticed it until you pointed it out! That could mean on some level I am leaning one way more than the other. I also think you are right, the charm & whimsy are really calling out to me :)

Thanks Lesa...I can use all the votes possible to help clarify matters!

notSupermum, thanks! That's so good to know that the sounds don't even seem to register with you now -- I wondered if I would eventually get used to it and I think yes, I could. I am also SO envious that you love your house, THAT speaks volumes about the fact that even if I don't end up with this particular house I do definitely need to find another one that I can love too.

Thanks again everyone....will keep you posted :)

sallymandy said...

Okay, I hate to be the dissenting view here, but here's my experience, K. I live in a house I love...on a noisy street in a busy neighborhood. I talked myself into it when we were doing the pro and con thing that you're currently doing. I told myself, I'll get used to the noise, it's not THAT busy, etc.

Ten years later, I do still love the house, but my gut instincts were right. The niggling doubts did not go away. The pros and cons that I saw in the beginning are exactly the issues we still ilve with.

My advice to myself next time would be--ask if I can live with the problems and don't hope they'll go away. Chances are, if they bug me now they will bug me later.

I guess for me, worrying about my kids' safety would be a red flag. I just know too careful parents who have lost children in the one minute they weren't looking after them. I know you're an incredibly careful and caring mother, so I hope you find a peaceful resolution to this.

Best of luck to you my friend.

Tina said...

I agree with Sallymandy. I think if you have these doubts, then you should go with your gut. You would constantly worry about your children. You can find another charming house.

La Belette Rouge said...

I could not do a busy street. No matter how charming the house. I am too much of an introvert and I want my house to be a quiet refuge from the world. Follow your heart. But my vote is no on a street with that kind of speed limit.

p.s. Thank you so much for your VERY kind note on my blog yesterday. It meant the world to me. Thank you!xoxo

Mervat said...

Dearest K, I miss bloggin so much but the whole time I was away I thought about you.

As to this dilemma, the house is just so quaint and beautiful. I totally agree with Kendra but also voice Sally-Mandy's concerns about gut instinct. Our main concern when we moved to the house we are in at present was the extra distance we would travel for school, shopping, work etc. But admittedly this was the only 'con'. I still whinge when I have to take an extra 15 to 20 minutes into consideration for travelling (as does my darling hubby when he is on-call to the hospital) but overall we had so many 'pros' that completely outweighed (and still does) this single negative. We are now semi-rural (and just love the country atmosphere) and only a quarter of an hour away from being downtown for all our needs.

I say make out a list and go with the numbers. We were on a busy street before moving here and did not get a full night's sleep for the first few days as we were so used to the noise level; and we are now awoken by the cows next door as opposed to noisy school kids!

Loving wishes being sent your way my dear,

Kayleigh said...

Thanks all!

Sallymandy, thank you -- I am SO glad you shared your thoughts...I truly want views from both sides because I am like a see saw about this, back & forth. Your advice is really wise, too...I need to see this place completely for what it is and not romanticize it or downplay flaws thinking I can learn to live with them. And the safety issue is a real concern, no doubt.

Tina -- thank you! I think on some level it is hard for me to believe we'll find another charming house...but you are right to point that out -- clearly this is not the ONLY house we could love, there has to be others :)

La Belette -- (hugs) you are so very welcome, and thank you for taking the time to comment here. I know exactly what you mean about wanting home to be a refuge...I value privacy above all else. The weird thing is while the house would be potentially nosier in terms of cars, people-wise it would be quieter and actually afford us more privacy than we have now. Our present house is in a neighborhood of 30 homes, at the other house there is only one neighbor across the street, set back, and they strike me as private people themselves. It would be a trade off, but I'm still not sure it's the right one.

Mervat! How super nice to see you've been missed :) I hope all is well w/you and yours. I think it's very interesting what you said about getting used to the quiet after living in a noisier area -- we really do learn to adapt, don't we? I grew up in a quiet neighborhood and when Michael and I lived in an urban area it took getting used to...then we moved here and the quiet seemed weird , lol. I am going to take your advice and make a list -- seeing it all on paper might help.

Thank you all SOOOO much!!!!