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Big families and bedroom spaces--can we chat??


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DH and I have a decision to make. We need to pick between two houses. One of them has 5 bedrooms (one would be a schoolroom). So, our 10 yod would have a room, the 11yob and 7 yob would share a room and the two little girls would share a room. This house also needs a new kitchen and lots of paint and carpet.

 

The other house has 4 bedrooms (one would be a school room). The 11yog, 3yog and eventually the baby girl would be in one room and the two boys would be in one room. This house is beautiful with a fully remodeled kitchen and really nice floors throughout. The yard is also a big nicer and it is 15K cheaper (same neighborhood as #1 so this makes no sense).

 

Both houses have a basement rec room so all toys would be down there.

 

So, how important are bedrooms??

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It sounds like you really enjoy the second house more. With the price difference, would it be possible to build out another bedroom downstairs, if you wanted? When we were looking at homes, we would think of how we would live immediately, and then what we could do with it. A nice kitchen is a big bonus for me, and I gravitate towards it, but for everyone it's different. If you find what you gravitate towards in a home already and you can adjust the rest, I say go for it.

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I would think about how much time your children currently spend in their rooms. Some families only use the bedrooms for sleeping, while others use their rooms for reading, playing, watching tv, etc. If you just sleep in the bedrooms and spend your day in the other parts of the house, I'd take house #2.

 

Good luck and enjoy your new home!

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I would go w/ house #2, but NOT use ne of the bedrooms for a school room. Give oldest dd her own room. You can school in the basement, or at the kitchen table. I had to share a room w/ my sister- It stunk, and I hated it. I have to share a room w/ dh- it stinks and I hate it. My dds have to share a room- it stinks, and they hate it! IMHO- bedrooms and private space are important.

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I wish we had basements in CA !

We recently bought and bedrooms were important because we DON'T have basements. If I were you, I would take house 2 and turn part of the basement into a classroom.

Also, any more kids in the plan??? Then that might lean me towards house #1. We redid all the painting and flooring in this house and are waiting to do the kitchen. Then it will be pretty much perfect. Although I WISH we had a bigger yard!

Are you ready (finacially and logistically) to do all that in house #2 before you move in? Our painter gave us a discount for doing it while the house was empty since no furniture to move, etc. And designing your own kitchen can be nice.

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How important is a good yard to you? Is tthe smaller yard livable? (a yard can be enjoyed, even if it's not ideal) Floors and paint can be changed- look at the things that can't. How big are the bedrooms? I would be ok with three girls sharing a room. We may eventually move our littles up into the big girls' room. And my mom grew up with 4 girls in one small room, aged baby to teens. But right now, it is very nice to have a seperate space for the older girls and their things nd the littles.

 

So, I'd weigh out the yard vs bedroom. If you decide for the room, show the sellers comparables and try to negotiate. I'd have a hard time spending more for a house that was in worse comdition, but the bedroom may be worth it. (with our spread, it would be worth it. The interests of the bigs are so different than those of he littles. But when it was just 4, the plan was to add her to the girls room. With 4 girls, it works out with the extra room. I'm not sure what I'd do with your spread of kids)

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:iagree:

I would go w/ house #2, but NOT use ne of the bedrooms for a school room. Give oldest dd her own room. You can school in the basement, or at the kitchen table. I had to share a room w/ my sister- It stunk, and I hated it. I have to share a room w/ dh- it stinks and I hate it. My dds have to share a room- it stinks, and they hate it! IMHO- bedrooms and private space are important.

 

100% agree.

 

If you don't want to school in the basement, I'd just make a place to store your school stuff there but school upstairs. Or, gather there if you do some sort of gathering activity in the am, but then do read alouds and group projects upstairs.

Do you have a large table in the kitchen, or is there an eating area/dining room you can do projects in?

 

I found that, around 4th grade, my girl wanted to not be in the basement for school, but that storing our stuff there was easier, so we read, did maths and lang stuff upstairs, but kept books and materials in the basement for the most part.

 

Now, ds LIKED being in his own space in the basement, and working at his large desk, so he did most stuff (except reading, most of the time) in the basement.

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I'd go for house #2. The kitchen would draw me, as it seems to you. Kids share rooms often. That's life.

Though as was mentioned, school elsewhere and allow the older dd her own room if you prefer.

We couldn't school in the basement. The basement is not our hub. We tried. It did not work, at all. We had a room upstairs. Made a nice sized school room. I decorated it. We were prepped ready to go. But..it didn't work. It wasn't our hub.

So if the bedroom/school room works for you, great. If not, give the room to the elder girl and school in the kitchen. :)

 

House #2 would be *my* pick and sounds like a good option for you.

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house #2, no contest.

 

I would want the one with the remodeled kitchen. Kitchens are expensive to redo. If the place has a basement you can set a school space up down there.

 

We live in a 3 bedroom house, so my kids share a room. But the girls room is huge, bigger than most master bedrooms. The 3 boys are in the smaller room, but it's still pretty big. While they would prefer their own room, they can deal with it. But with 4 bedrooms your oldest can have her own room.

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I'd definitely go for house #2. My 3 girls (almost 15yr, 13yr & 6yr) share a room, and our three boys (12,10,8) share a room.

 

They've divied (sp?) up the room to have their own "personal space" but they've always shared a room, so it's no big deal. It's actually sweet to see the older two girls taking care of their little sister by doing things like tucking her in, reading to her, putting her back in bed when she falls out, letting her sleep with them when she has a bad dream, etc... :)

 

The twins will be taking over our former school room, because it's next to my bedroom & they'll be there for at least a couple of years before they move in with their big brothers.

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#2 sounds great. I agree with the other posters. We school in our lower level, (2 bedrooms up and two bedrooms downs) in the family room. The boys share one bedroom downstairs and the girls share the other. They just sleep in their rooms and play all over the rest of the house.

 

Happy house hunting to you! :001_smile:

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I've got two boys in one room and two girls and a baby girl in another room. My philosophy is that ,more likely than not, each of these kids when they get out on their own will need to learn to share their space. I mean really, how many people have never had to live with a roommate or eventually a spouse. I think it's good practice.

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When I look at houses (all hypothetical right now, lol) I always look for a bedroom or convertible space for oldest ds. While I'd like to separate my dds (The Odd Couple), *I* put higher priority on avoiding sticking my 14yo with the 5 and almost-2yos. The large age gap just makes room sharing difficult, imo. Kiddie toys and decorations stink for a teenager, but teenage belongings are easily broken or dangerous for the littles.

 

The combined age and gender gap wasn't too difficult when ds was younger, but now that he's a teenager, I see him wanting more time away from the kiddie stuff and needing space to think, write, and just BE by himself. Not in worrisome amounts of time, but enough to recharge before rejoining the craziness!

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House #2, hands down. We spend way more waking time in our kitchen than our bedrooms so I would prefer a nice kitchen/main living space to bedrooms. Also, while I like a good storage space for school items, I gave up my school room this year to get another bedroom for a younger BIL to move in with us, and I feel like our schooling has been more joyful, more consistent, and more integrated into our lives this year. If you really want a fourth bedroom, I would give up a school room before a nice kitchen,

 

Of course, I don't find sharing a bedroom that much of a sacrifice. I grew up sharing a room with three sisters, then shared a dorm room in college, moved on to roommates after college, and then got married. I lived on my own and didn't share a bedroom for about six months of my life. No biggie.

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I wouldn't really worry about the sharing bedrooms thing. Kids do it all the time, even teens. I have a friend with seven kids (four boys./three girls). The boys have their own room and the girls have their own room. Both rooms are really good sized. Three of the boys are teens and it doesn't really bother them to share a room.

 

HTH!

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I've found my teens really need a space to get away to be by themselves at times. That isn't a bedroom at our house as my girls all share a room, but somewhere private is good. You might want to keep that in mind. What could be done with the basement in the future? Would it have an option for a room or two?

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The money difference really adds up after renovations. I would go with house #2. We have several friends with large families that put 3 or 4 kids in a room for sleeping but I would give up the school room. We school all over the house. When they were younger it was mostly at the kitchen table.

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I would think about how much time your children currently spend in their rooms. Some families only use the bedrooms for sleeping, while others use their rooms for reading, playing, watching tv, etc. If you just sleep in the bedrooms and spend your day in the other parts of the house, I'd take house #2.

 

Good luck and enjoy your new home!

 

Ditto! :iagree:

 

In our case, bedrooms are used less than in some families. Some play happens there, but most occurs in the traditional living spaces of our home. Bedroom size is not a big deal to us, our two teen daughters are in a room that is 10x10, using loft beds so they each have their little nook under it. We have 3 boys all in a large master bedroom (we happen to have two masters, we added on thinking my mom would come live with us and then she backed out), but they certainly wouldn't need as big a room as they have.

 

Cindy

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House #2, no question. Better kitchen, better yard, and cheaper. Sleeping space and school space can be moved in various ways over the years, but a kitchen is expensive to re-do. Also the issue of kids sharing rooms or not is such a first-world concern. I think it's fine for kids to learn to get along and share space, and that those lessons will serve them well as adults.

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I had decided that we would have a "boys" room and a "girls" room, but we wouldn't be trying to give the kids their own rooms. We only ended up with one dd, and they all share a room.

 

In the past, we've given the kids the "master" bedroom and used the smaller bedroom for ourselves.

 

I'd go with #2.

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House #2, no question. Better kitchen, better yard, and cheaper. Sleeping space and school space can be moved in various ways over the years, but a kitchen is expensive to re-do. Also the issue of kids sharing rooms or not is such a first-world concern. I think it's fine for kids to learn to get along and share space, and that those lessons will serve them well as adults.

 

:iagree:

 

My kids all share rooms--17ds/8ds, 9dd/6dd, 14dd/3dd--it works fine for all of them.

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I grew up in a large family and always shared a room (bed, too). I didn't mind it :) I think that's a personality thing, though because my friend's daughter is very introverted and has a hard time not having a personal retreat (she uses the bathroom, which can sometimes be a problem LOL). I think your kids' personalities matter in this decision - not that it should be the deciding factor, but it should be a consideration.

 

I like the suggestion of using the basement as a school storage area and doing school around the home. Maybe another option is to make the fifth bedroom a study/bedroom -- it could be the school storage area as well as your eldest's bedroom. We had a similar arrangment at my parent's home once some of us had moved out; my younger sister slept in the office/den. She preferred to share the space with family during the day over sharing a room 24/7 with our youngest sister.

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Where is the older girl right now? Does she have her own room? How does she feel about sharing with two babies?

 

I would be VERY hesitant to put a preteen girl in with two babies if she has her own space right now. You are talking about a teen with a 5 and 3 yo soon. Is there room for her to keep her things out of reach of the babies? Is there a space in the house she can go to escape them?

 

I would either go with house 1 or use the school room designated room as her bedroom instead. That answer is different if she is already sharing with them, or she is excited about the prospect. In that case, nothing is really changing. One other thing to consider is if there is really room for 3 kids in the bedroom. Rooms without furniture seem a whole lot larger than when you start trying to put beds in them! We have really big bedrooms in our house, but managing 3 beds into one of them would be difficult due to window placement and nooks.

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I would go w/ house #2, but NOT use ne of the bedrooms for a school room. Give oldest dd her own room. You can school in the basement, or at the kitchen table. I had to share a room w/ my sister- It stunk, and I hated it. I have to share a room w/ dh- it stinks and I hate it. My dds have to share a room- it stinks, and they hate it! IMHO- bedrooms and private space are important.

 

Yes this. I shared a room with my much younger sister-9 yr difference and it was not fun, especially during the teen yrs.

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This totally depends on how okay your teen dd will be with sharing with two littles. It would not have worked well for our family, but everyone is different. In your shoes, I would talk to your oldest dd about the possibilities, the pros and cons and allow her to express her thoughts. These may not be the deciding factor, but she will have had the chance to express them and you will have had a dialog about this if it goes south in the future.

 

At one point, we had our three littles in a bedroom for about two years and our teen had her own room. It was just not a good option to have the youngest share a bedroom with the oldest.

 

Since it sounds like there is a basement room, it would always be an option to put a loft bed in there for a kid (or two) if needed, so house number 2 might work even if you need more bedrooms.

Edited by texasmama
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