March 30, 2011


A lot of people I know are moving. I'm trying not to take it personally, instead attributing it to a lot of different reasons. Most of them are couples with one or two kids who've found that they're out of space in their starter home. And the housing market - at least around here - is starting to pick up again. One couple we know sold their house in a week, another in a single Saturday. So they're taking the opportunity to move from a smaller house to a bigger one, or an older neighborhood to a newer one, or an area with better schools or shorter commutes.

When we moved into our current house, we bought something we could grow into. It's not huge by any stretch. It's comfortable. Which is more than could be said of our first house if we were still there. It was a wonderfully little house - emphasis on little - that I will always love, drive by and wish we still owned but only if it was magically larger on the inside than it appeared from the street. Like a TARDIS.

We want Mia and Owen to grow up here, be a part of the neighborhood, go to the local schools and visit us on college breaks after we've converted their rooms into home gyms and music studios.

Are you living in your long haul home? Or are you planning (or needing) to move?

Posted by Chris at March 30, 2011 7:18 AM

I wish we could stay in this house forever. It was always my intention to stay put and have one house. It's a weird dream, but it was mine...

Posted by: alektra at March 30, 2011 7:35 AM

If we didn't have kids, we'd pack up and move to the Texas hill country tomorrow. We're not crazy about our packed like sardines neighborhood and we look forward to having some space to spread out once the kiddos graduate.

Posted by: Jenn at March 30, 2011 7:45 AM

We bought our house in 1997 with the intention of it being our starter home. We had two kids and a dog at that time and it was fine for us, if a bit on the small side. But our youngest was only 1 and he didn't need a big bedroom.

Over time we kept looking for bigger homes, with biger yards and garages and bigger closets but housing prices kept going up up up and we bought our house DIRT CHEAP. As we looked at what our mortgage payments would be if we went bigger it kind of put us off. Sure we were cramped but we didn't want to put ourselves into huge debt. We added more dogs and some cats to the mix and continued to debate the bigger house issue. But then a few years ago our oldest son graduated from college and moved out.Two of the dogs died. And it seemed silly to buy a bigger house at this stage in the game. Why take on a huge mortgage when our family was getting smaller.

So now the plan is to ride out the next few years until my husband can retire and our youngest graduates from college (7 years!) and sell the house and move south. Cause who wants to shovel snow when they are 60? Not us!

Posted by: Lisa at March 30, 2011 7:59 AM

I think we will stay put. I like the neighborhood and the schools. Our house is plenty big although the yard is a little small. There are things I want to fix or change but not so many I feel the need to start over. And the idea of owning our home in just 17 years is appealing!

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 30, 2011 8:25 AM

I love our house. I love the location. Being walking distance to Metro is pretty cherry. But it is small. With a 16 month old a husband and a dog, we're ok. If we want to add anymore to our family (which I'd like to do) we're definitely going to need more space. Plus having more than one bathroom (even if it were just a 1/2 bath) would be great.

Posted by: Beth at March 30, 2011 8:29 AM

I am SO glad I talked my wife into buying a "long haul" home rather than a starter home. We love the neighborhood (great for families), and the house.. it is an older neighborhood, and difficult to find houses with good kitchens...

Posted by: Kaz at March 30, 2011 8:37 AM

We never moved out of our starter home. We just adjusted with less space and as we got the finances where we could move we decided not to because our daughter would be leaving for college soon anyway.

However, I now want to move closer to my daughter because she has a child and I want to be able to do things spur of the moment with my grandchild, etc.

I can't convince my husband, yet, as our house is almost paid off. I'm betting that the granddaughter, once old enough to talk, might be able to do the convincing however so I'm being patient.

Posted by: daisy at March 30, 2011 8:47 AM

We have moved so many times. Hubby was in the Army and then went to work for a government contractor. We're currently planning a move to North Dakota this summer. I'm not thrilled because we've been here for 6 years and the kids are attached to this place but work calls so we must go. I'd love to settle down in one place where my kids can grow up and have a place they can go back to and call home. Maybe that will be in North Dakota.

Posted by: Michelle at March 30, 2011 9:25 AM

Unfortunately I moved a LOT when I was a kid. It just happened to be the nature of my father's job. I went to 13 schools (in 5 states) in my 12 years of school. I hoped to change that fate when I was an adult, but it didn't help that I joined the Air Force and did much traveling. Post Air Force, my (ex-)husbands job had us moving regularly. My oldest son had the luxury of only 2 moves, my middle son only 1 move, but the youngest moved 5 times. Such is life.

I am trying hard now to be settled and hope to only make 1 more move in my lifetime.

I envy people who were raised in the same town, some even in the same home, their whole childhood. I have a feeling my boys will try to do that for their kids, because I know they weren't too happy about all the moving we did!

Posted by: 3jaysmom at March 30, 2011 9:27 AM

We bought a medium haul house, lol.
We went larger than a starter, with lots of room to breathe and grow in a good neighborhood with good school districts. However, I'm a lot like Jenn; I feel claustraphobic.

While this is good for the family and I can live with it happily, it's no where close to my ideal and I can not imagine living the rest of my life here. We'll wait and see where our youngest goes to college (in about 9 years) and then go from there. If she sticks close, we'll wait until she graduates college but then I'm out of here. The plan is to head out West. Ditto on the no snow shoveling. I'm so over that.

Posted by: fauve at March 30, 2011 9:31 AM

Dear Chris,

It's like you have one of those nanny-cams at my house! Yesterday the car question, today the house!

The thing with the house we're in: It's a semi. It's not perfect. Wiring should be eventually redone. Bathrooms are stuck in the 70s (olive green and powder blue), it has no garage, the backyard is kinda small for a pool.

On the other hand, it was cheap. It's almost paid for. It's in a great location. the exterior has been completely redone. All new windows. Did I mention it was cheap? My mortgage is on par with the cost of a 2 bedroom apartment - so we can do other things with our money, we're not "house poor".

LW would like to move, I see no major reason to move. ;-)

Posted by: LeSombre at March 30, 2011 9:44 AM

I hate moving SO much. I jokingly tell my husband we will be carried out of our house in pine boxes. In all seriousness we bought so that we can have a family comfortably there. I don't think it's our forever house, but we're certainly in it for the long haul. :)

Posted by: Laura at March 30, 2011 10:22 AM

Once your kids become part of the community- sports, dance, schools, it becomes very hard to take them from that. Also, I live in Michigan and we couldn't sell if we wanted to. That being said, I told the kids that there will be a graduation party in the back yard for the youngest and a moving truck in the front because as soon as I don't have to shovel, I'm out!

Posted by: greenie at March 30, 2011 10:23 AM

We just sold our house in 2 weeks, actually. We want to stay in our older (more expensive) neighborhood but don't like any of the houses currently on the market. So we will have to rent for a bit, but that is ok. We could have a fabulous, new, huge, fantastically finished house in a nearby development (we live in Denver) for the same amount we will spend on a smaller, awkward, old kitchen house, but so be it! We will instead get a yard with trees (and resale value). I never thought we would stay in our place forever, and our boys are 1.5 and 3.5, but now that we are getting ready to leave I am getting kind of sad! Probably because in 3 weeks we have nowhere to go!

Posted by: diana at March 30, 2011 11:46 AM

If we were going to stay in this area, this would be our long-haul home. However, as soon as we can, we'll be moving back to the SF Bay Area and ditching this house for our forever place. It'll probably be ten more years or so in this house, and our older kids will all be in college by the time we move. My son will finish growing up in NorCal. I hope he doesn't hate us.

Posted by: Brooke at March 30, 2011 11:56 AM

We bought for the long haul. It's got enough room for two kids, although since we've ended up with only one, Jeff gets an office and we have a guest room. It'll be paid off before Lilli goes to college which was also part of the plan. It's a good family neighborhood with Papa and GG just up the street for easy grandparent access, plus we've got good schools.

A good portion of our friends live out in the suburbs (we're within the city limits) but we like being close to both sides of the family. And we have big trees in our yard while they don't.

Posted by: Kelley at March 30, 2011 11:56 AM

We moved from our starter home to this one. We're here until the steps become too much for our old, creaky, popping joints. I expect that time will be at least 15 years down the road. It's good to be in a place where all of our needs are met.

Posted by: Brad at March 30, 2011 12:00 PM

We are closing on out first home on 9 days. I was hoping that this would be out forever home, but we simply can't afford what we'd really like on a single income (the husband was laid off 2 years ago and is still trying to find work.) We might move in 5-10 years, maybe we'll try to expand on the current space. I do agree with one of the previous posters, even just an additional half bath would be awesome.

Posted by: Rai at March 30, 2011 12:08 PM

We're in our first and only home. We bought it about two years ago (when we first got married, we lived in my husband's townhouse, which took FOREVER to sell). It's a decent size, and the first owners (who lived here for 50 years) raised 5 boys here, so it would be hard to say we'd outgrown it, if we had children. Luckily, they put several additions in that maximized the space.

I tell people that we want to die in this house, and they look at me funny. (Because I'm talking about death, or because I'm in my early 30s, I'm not sure.)

We love the location, and the unique details of the house, and I specifically picked this city because it had most of what I wanted. The school system isn't great, but it's diverse, and it's fairly central in our metro area, so commuting isn't that bad.

I never wanted a starter home, but understand that what we can afford and what we want don't always line up.

Posted by: Kelly at March 30, 2011 12:38 PM

I am held captive in Las Vegas by custody arrangements in a Divorce Decree, otherwise, I would be out of this town tomorrow. This home is most certainly not my forever home - and - unlike so many people - I have no desire to have a "forever" home. I got married and started my family young. We'd live to like in Park City, Utah, for awhile. And then we'd love to live in Madison, Wisconsin for awhile. And then maybe live in Boston one spring. And maybe Seattle for a time. And maybe Europe for a few years. I've owned homes before - and I must say - I have no desire to own a home ever again. I view them as tethers, and I don't want to be tethered to any one particular place.

I know. I'm weird.

Posted by: Mindy at March 30, 2011 1:05 PM

We are in our starter house. We will definitely move, but when?

Pay off more of the mortgage? Move soon so as to start the new mortgage? Wait for kids? Wait until said kids are in school? Keep the small house while the kids are young so we can afford one of us not working, or working less? Move when the kids are young so that they can go to a school I want them to go to? Forget it all and move to Mexico?

The market is very good. But that means a new house will be a lot of money. Yet we would make a lot of money on the current house. Whatever way, it will balance, I'm sure.

Posted by: Heather at March 30, 2011 5:53 PM

As long as I can find a job in the area, I think we will be in this house as long as we are both able to walk all the stairs!

Posted by: Krush at March 30, 2011 6:01 PM

Oh God, we're househunting and I hate it but we have got to find a bigger house before we all go insane.

Posted by: Anne at March 30, 2011 6:31 PM

Smartest thing we ever did was to stay put in our starter home. Paid it off a few years ago. Of course, we didn't have kids. But, Mom and Dad kept two kids in their starter home too. The trick is to purge your house yearly of anything you haven't used for a year.

Posted by: TheQueen at March 30, 2011 7:20 PM

I am always in transitional living. I don't know if that will ever end.

Posted by: k8 at March 30, 2011 8:21 PM

I'm pretty sure we are in our forever house. Partially because we do not ever want to have to move again...and partially because we are just so in love with this house, the neighborhood, everything.

Posted by: alimartell at March 30, 2011 8:43 PM

Going on nearly 3 years in this home. This is the third home that we have owned. We bought thinking long-term because we wanted bigger as we desperately wanted a big basement and some extra space. Have amazing city and mountain views that we love, yet we feel 5 years is our max here.

House is just too big for our family of 3. Too much to maintain and the place seems too big now, I can only imagine how we will feel when our son moves out.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at March 30, 2011 8:58 PM

We are moving on Friday! We moved in December (yes, 4 months ago) for my husband's job. Then the house we are renting sold, so we are moving again. In two days. We are moving into a small, 2 bedroom, apartment. Yes, 2 adults, 3 children, 1 large dog, and 2 cats. We have the idea that we will live there for a year and build a nice house while we're there. Meanwhile, over half our belongings live in storage.

Posted by: Lisa at March 30, 2011 9:43 PM

We're looking to buy our first home this year, hopefully it will be something big enough to raise a family in! We're looking for 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms - in the Phoenix area there are a lot of houses like this in our price range, so I'm hopeful that when we do finally buy a house, we'll be able to stay there long-term. I hate moving!

Posted by: Emily at March 30, 2011 10:35 PM

Oh god I am a planning to move. We are still living in the tiny shoebox we planned on renting for 6 months. That was 4 years ago. Plus, we are moving to Seattle, this year so that pretty much guarantees a new home.

I hate moving. I wish I was living in my long haul house.

Posted by: jodi at March 30, 2011 10:39 PM

our two-year starter home that we bought in 06 has now become somewhat of a long-haul home due to the housing market :p

Posted by: kati at March 31, 2011 12:02 AM

We're about to move to another rented house outside of Edinburgh (sea view!) and then in a year I think we'll buy, possibly for good but never say never.

Posted by: Katherine at March 31, 2011 1:18 AM

We are in the home my ex husband and I had just "upgraded" to, strange I know. My ex and I bought this and a week later all hell broke loose and omfg it was on--divorce time. I was left with the house and mortgage. To make a very long story short I made it work as a single mama of two and was determined not to move my children on top of a divorce!

Two years later I met my now and final husband, we got married he moved in sold his house and we started making it "our" home. He loves it more than me. I have mentioned maybe he would like to sell and we buy something else? Nope. We have done a shit ton of work to make it "us". We have plenty of room even with the addition of a daughter, dog, and the previous two children. We just made a decision last week he is transferring for work from what was an hour drive one way to a 5 minute drive...needless to say we are staying in this home now. 13 more years and we own it, I can hardly wait to have it paid off! :)

Posted by: Kami at March 31, 2011 1:45 AM

We have a 4 bedroom home, so I can't imagine us ever outgrowing it (we have 2 kids, don't know if there will be a 3rd). But, we bought it with the intention of living there about 8 years and then moving into a similar home in a nicer area. Then, the housing market crashed. We've put a lot of money into the house, finishing the basement, paver-stone patio in the backyard, etc., so now we feel "stuck" because we're underneath or house. We've been there almost 6 years now.

If we never moved, it would probably be fine. I just wish we had a nicer neighborhood for the kids.

Posted by: Robyn at March 31, 2011 9:13 AM

We wanted to move several years ago but the area were in tanked badly and has a ton of short sales and foreclosures. Were in the middle of finishing some minor renovations to get our house on the market and hopefully sold quickly.

Keeping our fingers crossed that we can sell so we can move into a community that has better schools etc. Looking in Loudon county and also western Fairfax and we both thing this will be the long haul house until our son (7) is done with college.

Posted by: Steven at March 31, 2011 3:37 PM

We bought this house in late 1999, having just moved out of a townhome. We were a family of 3 people and a pet then (Princess was about a year and a half old, and the dog was 4) and we wanted a yard and space enough for another baby. I hate moving and often joke that we are staying here until the kids put me into a nursing home.

We ended up with one more child than we'd originally planned, so there was some room sharing until we'd renovated and changed some room purposes. The dog is now gone, although his doghouse in the fenced-in backyard still remains. If a perfect house became available that fit our costs, one that didn't require leaving the fantastic school staff we have now or adding to our commute or something, we might think about it. But we're pretty much set on staying here for the long haul.

Posted by: MamaKaren at March 31, 2011 7:56 PM

I've lived in my home since 1982. My son was born in 1985, so he was raised here. He graduated from college in 2008, but this is where his mom lives. Its really more than I need for just me, but I want to have room for grandchildren one day. Of course, if I win the lottery, it's history!

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