Dream house, or not?

Mom2SFJuly 11, 2012

We are considering putting an offer on our "dream" house.

Our must have list is extensive and this has it all (we've been looking for a long time and haven't even come close to "perfect" until now).

The only thing that's holding us back is the bedroom layout - the master suite is upstairs and the other three bedrooms are on the main level. We have a 9 year old daughter and it just seems "strange" that she'd be on the main level and we'd be upstairs.

I am losing sleep over this house! It is so, so amazing in every way but once the thrill wears off (if we'd get it) would I end up losing sleep over having my baby girl all by herself on the first floor?!?

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terriks

Is there a suitable bedroom on the main floor that you could use as a master until your little girl is older?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:18AM
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Northlut

We don't have kids, so I probably shouldn't talk, but isn't 9 old enough to be trusted to sleep on a different floor of the same house?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:26AM
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Mom2SF

Technically, yes - one main level bedroom has an ensuite bathroom (the room that my daughter would get).

But, I have four step kids too (ages 12, 20, 21, 23) who are with us occassionally. So the plan is to have all the kids on the main level and us upstairs.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:51AM
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barbcollins

"We don't have kids, so I probably shouldn't talk, but isn't 9 old enough to be trusted to sleep on a different floor of the same house?"

9 is not the problem. It's about 4 or 5 years later. You no longer worry about someone coming in the house, you worry about them leaving the house.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:26AM
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cearbhaill

It may seem strange at first to have her on a different floor but IMO you would adjust to it very quickly.
I would jump on the house and sort out the domestic issues as they come up- 9 is plenty old enough to sleep on a different floor.

As far as kids sneaking out- if she is of that mind and determined nothing will stop her. And to assume that all teenagers are of that mind is, to me, absurd.
If you need to keep her (virtually!) chained to the bed post you can do that just as easily down as up.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:36AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

How long do you plan to live in the house? Is this your forever dream house? Is it worth giving up 40-50 years of living there for the 10 years your daughter is at home?

My concerns of children on different levels normally go the opposite direction. I worry about my kids sleeping on the second floor in case of a fire. Because I work at home and homeschool 2 of my kids, I would relish being on a different floor from them, it gives a more complete feeling of getting away. Also, I prefer to have kids rooms on the lower level, you should hear the thuds and shudders of the house when they are upstairs.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:03AM
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mamattorney

I say go for it! We have this set up (a ranch in which a mater suite and loft/office was added as a second story addition) and I was initially concerned about it before we put the offer in; I had a two year old and was pregnant with my 2nd. My older siblings and my mom soothed my concerns and assured me that I'd be thrilled with the set up sooner rather than later.

We never slept on the first level - we just put a baby monitor back in the 2 year old's room for awhile and kept the baby up with us until he was sleeping through the night - I didn't want to trek up and down a flight of stairs multiple times a night. But trust me - I can hear everything that's going on down there from upstairs. We haven't had monitors in the rooms in years, but if someone is crying, we can hear it. We do sleep with our door open, so that likely helps.

I have to say, we haven't had a bit of trouble with it. If they need something in the middle of the night (now the kids are 9, 7 and we've had another one who's almost 3) they know where we are!

Will it feel strange for a couple of weeks - yes it will. But, you'll probably be on the same floor as she is when she's falling asleep. if she goes to bed at 8:30 and you go to bed at 11:30, you're closer to her than you would be if she were upstairs on the 2nd floor for those three hours.

Only you can decide, but based upon my experience, it's a non-issue.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:45AM
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adellabedella_usa

It would be a deal killer for me. Our bedrooms are all near each other. I feel safer with them there. Like the poster mentioned above, I'm concerned about fires, tornados, etc. Also,I have two sneaky elementary age kids who think it is ok to pull all nighters. I don't want them to think they will never get caught.

Another thing to consider is resell. Master on the top floor with other bedrooms down is harder to sell.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:00AM
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lyfia

I would not like that at all.

Could you swap it and ues the bedroom witj the ensuite downstairs as the master and she gets the upstairs? I'd worry when she gets older and about sneaking out.

Of course you could get an alarm system that allows you to hear these things and make sure her alarm code only works during certain hours of the day.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 2:04PM
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ncrealestateguy

After reading this post, I now dream of what it would be like for my wife and I to have an entire floor between us and our children! Just saying...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 4:06PM
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drybean

I would not hesitate for a minute over something like that. In fact, the house we are in the process of buying has that exact set-up. My kids are 4 and 6 and it didn't occur to me that it would be an issue.

If ithas everything else that you have been looking for, I would not let it stop you!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 4:48PM
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kirkhall

I think 9 is a perfect age for this type of setup. If it is your dream house in all other respects, you will soon find this to be a dream option for you as well, I think.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 5:17PM
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sylviatexas1

Here, this floorplan would be a powerful negative at re-sale time;
families seem to want the master bedroom down & secondary bedrooms up, or all bedrooms up if they have little ones.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Mom2SF

The house has been on the market for exactly 4 months - the floorplan is definitely non-traditional. The upgrades and finishes are wonderful but I think potential buyers are confused by the layout. With our big blended family we actually like all the chopped up rooms because everyone can have their space.

We're going to look at it again this weekend. The listing price is about 15% over our budget (!) so the odds of an accepted offer may make this Dream House out of our reach anyway.

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:12PM
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stir_fryi

I have a nine year old who will still, on the rare occasion, come into our room because she had a bad dream or is not feeling well.

My kid would never, ever sleep alone on a different floor than us because she would be scared -- but that's how she is.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:46PM
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kswl2

If the area is dangerous I could see a problem. Otherwise, as the replies here have demonstrated, it's very much dependent on the attitudes of the parents and temperament of the child. I would never be concerned about the floor plan you describe.....our kids went away to sleep away camp when they were six years old, for two weeks to start, and by the time they were nine years old they were at camp for eight weeks in the summer. Some people think that is really peculiar, but as it was also my own experience and DHs we didn't over think it at the time.

When our friends bought a house in Scottsdale their 10 year old had a bedroom with French doors out to her own patio. The mom replaced the doors with windows, saying if her daughter was planning to sneak out as a teenager she'd have to climb out the windows like everybody else--- including the mom when she was a teen. :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:13AM
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barbcollins

"When our friends bought a house in Scottsdale their 10 year old had a bedroom with French doors out to her own patio. The mom replaced the doors with windows, saying if her daughter was planning to sneak out as a teenager she'd have to climb out the windows like everybody else--- including the mom when she was a teen. :)"

One of our funniest memories now was the night I "just knew" our daughter was planning something. We said goodnight and turned out all the lights. I quietly went out the back door and stood outside her window in the dark. I think she might have peed her pants when I said "and where do you think you are going" after her feet hit the ground.

That was the point I was trying to make. I know that ALL teenagers don't try to sneak out, but I would not want to make it easy for them.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:27AM
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kswl2

Very funny, Barb!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:46AM
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Mom2SF

Just a follow-up: We decided to forgo an offer, and for other reasons other than the floorplan. The house is gorgeous but it's simply over our budget and needs more "TLC" than we're willing to tackle.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:46PM
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