Considering much bigger house but busy street. Hmmmm...
Hi all -
Sorry for going into such great detail below!
I'm not sure about this. We live in a desirable historic neighborhood on a quiet street. We're a family of 5 w/ 3 boys in a foursquare house (which if the basement were finished - which it's not - would make it almost 4,000 sq. ft) w/ 4.5 bedrooms; one's a sun porch small room w/ no closet which we use as a guest room. We finished the attic (one long carpeted room and we added a doorless closet) though it's used mostly as a play room. My oldest boy has his own room and his 3.5 year-old brothers share a room. This is TMI but my husband usually sleeps in the attic (there's a "guest" bed and dresser on one end) cause of his extremely loud snoring/sleep apnea!
The problem w/ where we are now:
While our house looks big and tall, only the living room is big. The rest of the rooms aren't (just one bedroom is decent sized, and the attic is okay-sized though more long than anything) and we can't afford to finish the basement, which would at least allow the kids to run around and jump without driving us nuts. We have 1.5 baths and a small, dark, North-facing kitchen which we also can't afford to expand. The upstairs hallway is something like 5.5 x 8 feet big with all the rooms off that. The hardwood floors are really loud/rattly also - which I've never understood cause it's a well-built house in all other ways. The house faces East which is fine but I MUCH prefer a house that faces West. The house I grew up in did and it's like a religious experience for me, facing the setting sun out the main windows. The only windows that face West are too small in our house. The bigger issue may be that we're suffocating having our neighbors so near by cause there's not a lot of space between the houses and to make matters worse I feel very self-conscious about having 3 loud boys (there are precious, quiet little girls everywhere) - even if that's silly and I'm probably projecting my own fears. This is beside the fact that the neighbors are extremely unfriendly - not all, but the ones next to me, unfortunately, w/ whom we more or less share a driveway; most of our neighbors are so wonderful but the ones next to us can ruin my entire day, very easily (and they keep dinging my car, but that's another story). What can I say - I'm uncomfortable in the one place in the world I shouldn't have to be. I wonder if a busy street would make me feel less self-conscious about all the noise we make?
I love my neighborhood and all our friends here and really want to stay in the hood. But to move into a house that's the same size as the one we have now, on another quiet street, wouldn't allow for any upgrades and we couldn't afford the realtor's fees either way. Also, imagine the disappointment of others if a family w/ 3 loud boys moved in! :-o
The house I can't stop thinking about is 5,030 sq. ft. (that includes the unfinished basement) 2 blocks away from our house, on a busy street that's something like 30 mph. I never would have imagined considering a house on a busy street but...
it's an incredible 1910 amazing beautiful house w/ 7 + original bedrooms and 3 bathrooms that needs $150-200k worth of work but costs less than the value of our home, so w/ our equity + fixing up the new house, the mortgage would end up being about the same. It has a lot of original details still - if not most: original copper craftsman lighting; oak floors throughout; original marble counter in the pantry, yes pantry (I've always wanted a pantry...and it's attached to a nook); dumbwaiter; a button on the dining room floor to call "the servents" - haha; leaded and stained glass built-ins, etc. 3 of the bedrooms are all in the attic and the attic is like most people's 2nd floors - very nice and finished with long open hallway and it's all original (no framed-in walls but has always been 3 bedrooms) w/ nice big windows and tall standing room. My friend laughed that she got lost on the 2nd floor for few seconds. It has 3 bedrooms in each corner and a sun porch in the 4th, plus another big bedroom in between two of the corners (attached to sun porch - so that sun porch could be converted to a nice bathroom and already has some of the plumbing since it was converted into a kitchen and has the 2nd-floor bathroom on the other side of its wall. There is a double garage w/ old fashioned doors and while the driveway isn't double, there is more space between the houses somehow. I think everything East of that side of that street - the side this house is on - has slightly bigger lots than where we live a couple blocks West. The basement is unfinished but enormous and dry and with outrageously tall ceilings - oh and it has a shower in it (!). The kitchen faces East (hello morning - I'm used to facing North) and the living room has a den off of it, at the back of the house. Not really a sun room as it's not full of windows but still a great space for an office and faces mostly South (and East). Living room faces West and South which to me is ideal since I love sunsets and really miss that. Dining room faces West too which is perfect at dinner time. I have a theory that all perfect houses have a kitchen that faces East and a dining room that faces West. :)
Cons: busy street w/ a bus line. Hello. Show stopper? Bus stop is 3 houses down and across the two-way street, on the corner. I think it's a 30 mph zone. There are a lot of cars at rush hour, it seems. Children's safety isn't a concern just cause they're old enough plus we'd fence it in. But what does living on a busy street w/ a bus line do to one's lungs, much less one's ears? It's fairly quiet at night - especially when most people are sleeping as is the case on any busy street I imagine. Am I allowed to imagine that in a few years automobiles will stop being gas-run (buses at least?) and will be quieter/less toxic? Or does the increase in population make it a wash (says the lady w/ 3 kids)?