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Passing on a sweet house

August 15th, 2009 at 01:27 pm

I love our current location. DH works 5 minutes away, and we're in a little sweet spot that is a reverse commute from most areas of the city. We're on a canyon, and get breezes that come in from the ocean keep our house cool enough that we almost never run the A/C. The beach is a 10 minute drive, and my mother lives one street away, making free babysitting readily available.

The only real downside is the school district. I've been told our elementary school is ok, but to avoid the middle and high schools. The district is very large and does have a lottery to transfer to other schools within the district, so I'll be looking into that.

With DS here and the twins coming, and my working from home, I'd really like to have one more bedroom. We have 4 bedrooms, 1900 sq ft, so it won't be crowded or anything, but my ideal would be to have one more room.

Anyway, a house went on sale two doors down from my mother. I hadn't seen that floor plan in our subdivision, so I went through the open house out of curiosity. It would be perfect for us! Well, other than the school district and convincing my DH to live two doors away from his mother-in-law!

The house had all the things on my wish-we-had list: 2300 sq ft, 4 bedrooms + separate office, separate spots for kitchen and dining room tables, small pool in the backyard with safety fencing, grass area with a swingset, room for a vegetable garden, and a hillside where you could plant a bunch of fruit trees. For this area it has a really big lot, and the front yard had been landscaped with low-water plants.

It was listed for $890k. Our house would probably sell for $600k, so the difference would put this house out of reach. Plus I'm planning on taking a year or two off once the twins are born. So it's not the right time. But if this house had come on the market when the twins were 5 and I was working again and we'd won the school district lottery...a girl can dream!

6 Responses to “Passing on a sweet house”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    When you said "lots of land" I thought, "That is quite the find in California." Figured it would cost so much more! Wow!

    It will work out. Do you have a lot of young "wealthy" people in our neighborhood? Our middle school and high schools are atrocious, but I hadn't thought much about it. The young parents in our neighborhood have a lot of time and money, and things are improving - the elementary school is excellent due to their efforts. I have no doubt things will improve.

    Most our young friends in San Jose can only afford some of the older/less appealing school districts. BUT, these people are paying $600k-$1 mil for their homes. They are pouring lots of money into the school district and improving things. I always find visiting them interesting - little, teeny, old houses remodeled to the HILT. I just find it kind of bizarre compared to life in such an affordable city. But you could say the same for their schools. Involved parents with money is good for the schools.

    Now, if you live with a lot of retired folk, then I'd worry...

    Our own neighborhood is admittedly unique - lots of lawyers and educators - which is good for schools.

  2. zetta Says:

    The immediate neighborhood is fairly affluent (scientists, engineers, real estate agents), but it is the most expensive subdivision that feeds into this elementary/middle/high school zone. It's not big enough to support a charter school, and the trend in the neighborhood has been for people to move when their children hit school age. I'd say about half or more of the neighbors are either childless or have grown kids. The only families with school-aged children I see are renters, and even they seem to be choosing parochial school.

    The rest of the school zone has a lot of military families, recent immigrants (mainly Indian, Vietnamese, and Filipino), and more of a working-class feel. A Taiwanese-American friend said the immigrant families in this area were more likely to expect their children to go into small businesses (restaurant, nail salon, etc.) than to push them toward college, and it had an effect on achievement at the high school level.

    We bought in 2002, thinking we'd ride out the housing boom and then move to a better school district. I didn't expect to fall in love with our canyon, neighborhood, and location as much as I have.

  3. zakity Says:

    What about homeschooling for the later grades?

  4. LuxLiving Says:

    Hi Zetta, I've been missing on here for awhile and just now reading about your upcoming bundles of joy! Congratulations!

  5. zetta Says:

    I'm not interested in homeschooling. I'd rather work in software and put the money either toward a house in a better district or private school.

  6. Jerry Says:

    Timing is everything, isn't it? Under other circumstances it might lead you to move, but as things are it sounds like you have some decent insurance of a very good situation. Not perfect, but then again, what is? Good luck with everything...

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