Our house hunt continues in full force and though we've narrowed our lengthy housing options to two, it's not making the decision any easier since the two we heart are diametrically opposed to each other.
I love where I currently live. I love our local park and the faces now becoming familiar. I love Waleed playing with other kids, regulars like him, and I love the front porches of the charming bungalows lining the streets. I love the school system, the walkability and I want to live in this area more than anything in the world--- but:
The homes are old and small [at least in our price point, we wandered into an open house for a Tudor and had to pretend to nod straight-faced as the agent informed us the 2,200 sq ft home was approximately 900K. That's all? Hm, if it wasn't for the kitchen I'd make an offer today. Hideous darling. Get me my mink we're out of here] they also have no garages and our parents would probably pass out before they crossed the threshold.
For these reasons we expanded our search to another area, equally close to K's job, but more suburban in feel. Definitely close to highways, good schools, [and while some intown folks scoff at chains, I do admit I love me some Macaroni Grill] and most definitely we could get double the house for the exact same price--- but:
When we go to the in-town showings, neighbors stop and say hello. They coo over Waleed and tell us we'll love the neighborhood [which, is so amazing in the South. To be brown. And wanted] We see children riding trikes while mothers plant petunias and well, our eyes gloss over and the world looks rose colored and we just would rather not live anywhere in the whole world.
I like both areas. But I like them for completely different reasons. One appeals to my heart. The other to my practicality. I want Waleed to grow up amongst wonderful neighbors and culture. I also would love a spacious bathroom an open floor plan instead of a series of boxed rooms and a two car garage. But I can't have both.
Some scoff at the 'suburban' concerns saying community is earned not inherited which is probably true to a point but I've lived in suburbia [albeit that one was a true 'burb not remotely near the city] and I know sometimes you just can't make community happen. But multiple children in a 3/2 bungalow will get incredibly tight.
It's so hard to decide between community or house. I worry I'm making too much out of community since one does live in their house. Or making too much out of house since good community has intangible benefits. Our agent jokes he's providing us the buffet of options but we have to pick which dish to eat. Except unlike a meal, home buying is a semi-permanent decision involving a lot more cash than tacos and the two choices are so vastly different, K and I just sit there wondering which way to step, afraid if we pick one we'll regret the other, and if we pick the other we'll regret the former. And regret leaves a bitter aftertaste. My heart screams intown. My brain gives a stern no. And since these two halves make my whole, I'm a very confused individual indeed.
What would you do?