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moving options...would love your thoughts as I work through this


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All this is hypothetical at this point. We have repairs being made on our house this month and then will have a realtor come out to give us some price ideas and will talk to a lender to figure out what we can afford to borrow, etc etc. But...all that aside, if we can move, we really really really want to. This house has 3 bedrooms for 6 people, and due to age/gender spreads sharing is becoming a real problem. Plus DH will be working from home permanently, and the noise issue is horrid here - open floor plan, terrible acoustics so that you can hear the living room TV better in the master bedroom than the living room, me constantly shushing kids all day as he is on zoom meetings in our bedroom, etc. It's driving us crazy, as is having DH working late (he's a night owl) in the space where I want to SLEEP! 

So, goal is bigger house with bedrooms for everyone and an enclosed office space, or a loft that can be enclosed, or a lot that we can put a shed on for an office (which runs into issues with permits, etc in hurricane prone Florida). 

But other goal and purpose would be to be closer to family. We currently live on the far west side of the Orlando metro area, and my sister lives on the far east side, and my parents live on the east coast. SO i'm about 1 hour and 20 minutes or more to my parents, and my sister lives right in between, so 40-45 mintues from both me and my parents. 

Options are to move near my sister, which would mean a small lot, staying in the metro area so easy commute if DH goes back to teaching some in person classes (no more than 2 times a week, at off hours), closer to my parents than we are now. Cousins closer for the kids, and I'd be closer to help my divorced sister when she needs childcare. Close to some friends, fairly easy commute to science center, theaters, etc. Good library system. Still 45 minutes to my parents and a bit further to the beach.

Move to my parents's area. I'd be near the beach again, our allergies would likely be better (more fresh sea air, less oak pollen), we'd be near my parents to help them when that becomes more of a need (they are mid 60s), close to beach, closer to some marine environmental centers, closer to the zoo. More small town (or smaller, anyway) suburbia life vs the VERY built up, high traffic of the Orlando metro area. Might be able to afford more house or larger lot (staying near my sister means tiny lots). Still 45 minutes to my sister's house. Politically, not a good fit but neither is the part of town I'm in now.Further from university, but has good community college (Florida has good community college programs with transfer after 2 yrs, etc). 

There is one area that is in between parents and sister - more rural, big lots, no sidewalks, no grocery delivery, currently a big drive to anywhere but two big roads are scheduled to have extensions finished soon . It's pretty much halfway between my sister and my parents. I know a few people (friends) who live there. Pricing might keep us out, not sure. Tons of space for dogs to run, and kids, but not going to be able to say, play out on the sidewalk with neighbor friends. Septic and well water vs city. I know most people have water softener systems and still have issues with hard water destroying appliances after a while. 

All of these may be a stretch price wise, or a matter of grabbing something as soon as we see it. Not a lot popping up. Or we have to settle for a smaller house, not enough bedrooms, etc. 

Or, there are areas that are further north or south that are not much closer to family than we are now, but on the coast or near it, and pricing is much lower and there is more being built, meaning more chances to get something. 

 

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I would probably stay near sister, tbh.  Getting too close to parents would be a nope for me right now.   Once they actually need help, yes, consider moving closer, but that could be many years away.   I would be tempted to get closer to the beach but that also means closer to parents and further from sister, so no.    Plus, you're still talking beach time in under an hour.    I wouldn't stress too much over lot size-- less yard to deal with, neighborhood to play in.    
You could come to my neck of the woods in Georgia.  Our new neighbors just moved here from Orlando.   😊  

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If you plan to help care for your parents in the long run, and most importantly if they plan to stay in that area, I would go there. It sounds like the most agreeable area and of the places you described. 45 minutes isn't a bad distance for seeing your sister, and if you are in the same area as your parents, she will more likely do the bulk of the traveling. If the distance from your sister is a major concern, then I would try to find a home near the freeway to a least minimize the time to get on the road to see her. Is the community where your parents live family friendly? Are there lots of choices for children's sports and activities? Assuming your parents are the same faith, have you attended thier church and like it there? Having a church family already built in can be a great stress relief (even if you change locations later down the road once you are settled). How about health care?

More rural areas like the mid-way point can be more expensive because it isn't close to where you want to be(gas/wear and tear on vehicles), has less opportunity, and fewer stores/community spaces/events/healthcare choices.

If the lots near your sister are smaller than you want, you would be trading your everyday life with kids and dogs, for an occasional commute.

Good luck finding an amazing home! I would love to move right now, but prices in our area are sky high!!! Homes have increased 11.8% in one year. A basic 2000sqft home on a tiny lot, is nearing $500,000 here now. 

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20 minutes ago, WildflowerMom said:

I would probably stay near sister, tbh.  Getting too close to parents would be a nope for me right now.   Once they actually need help, yes, consider moving closer, but that could be many years away.   I would be tempted to get closer to the beach but that also means closer to parents and further from sister, so no.    Plus, you're still talking beach time in under an hour.    I wouldn't stress too much over lot size-- less yard to deal with, neighborhood to play in.    
You could come to my neck of the woods in Georgia.  Our new neighbors just moved here from Orlando.   😊  

Curious what you mean by the bolded? 

I should add, I enjoy spending time with my parents, and they are fantastic grandparents. 

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I don’t think there’s anyone who’s going to know better than you which will be a better spot!

I like space and privacy, so I’d love the in between.  I don’t like to make choices based on other people’s current situations (my parents and sisters moved 800 miles away when I was barely an adult.). My son lives near the FL coast and his allergies are awful right now, lol.  There will always be pros and cons.

Trust your gut and your budget.

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13 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Curious what you mean by the bolded? 

I should add, I enjoy spending time with my parents, and they are fantastic grandparents. 

 I can only be around my parents for so long before I start to twitch.  Ymmv...

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19 minutes ago, Tap said:

If you plan to help care for your parents in the long run, and most importantly if they plan to stay in that area, I would go there. It sounds like the most agreeable area and of the places you described. 45 minutes isn't a bad distance for seeing your sister, and if you are in the same area as your parents, she will more likely do the bulk of the traveling. If the distance from your sister is a major concern, then I would try to find a home near the freeway to a least minimize the time to get on the road to see her. Is the community where your parents live family friendly? Are there lots of choices for children's sports and activities? Assuming your parents are the same faith, have you attended thier church and like it there? Having a church family already built in can be a great stress relief (even if you change locations later down the road once you are settled). How about health care?

More rural areas like the mid-way point can be more expensive because it isn't close to where you want to be(gas/wear and tear on vehicles), has less opportunity, and fewer stores/community spaces/events/healthcare choices.

If the lots near your sister are smaller than you want, you would be trading your everyday life with kids and dogs, for an occasional commute.

Good luck finding an amazing home! I would love to move right now, but prices in our area are sky high!!! Homes have increased 11.8% in one year. A basic 2000sqft home on a tiny lot, is nearing $500,000 here now. 

So, yes, I'd say if someone is going to help with care it will be me. My sister is a highschool principal and very busy, and a single parent. No other siblings. Schedule wise I'm the most flexible, and my husband is as well. And if any lifting needs to be done, etc, he's the strongest. 

As to my parents staying there, ugh, I probably need to talk to them about that again. Every so often my mom gets a hair up her butt about moving. They don't ACTUALLY move, but the topic comes up...at sevral points my mom mentioned moving closer to my sister to help out more, but my Dad is VERY against it. 1. my mom shouldn't be helping more than she does. 2. My dad LOVES living on the coast, as does my mom. They have a boat and live on the water, and enjoy sitting on their patio by the pool every evening looking at the orchids he grows, watching the boats go by, having wine, etc. They should NOT give that up because my sister's ex can't be bothered to watch his own kids as much as he should. They worked their hands to the bone - in my mothers case literally as she is permanently disabled by arthritis in her hands, in my father's case to the tune of giving up the life he loved as a fisherman to take a "real job" where he eventually moved into management and then in his last years worked for terrible people (think people that want to hold business meetings in strip clubs and use the N word on conference calls!) who treated him horribly but he stayed to keep insurance for my mom (who is a lung cancer survivor). The stress and sedentary long hours lead to him obesity (he's lost almost 50 pounds since retiring last year!) and dang it, the man deserves to live out whatever time he has left with his orchids and his boat! Not in built up HOA neighborhoods with terrible traffic.

Actually, that's the biggest reason they should NOT move near my sister - Orlando traffic is not safe for my mom to be driving in. Where they are now they are 1 mile from a Publix grocery store and in that same shopping plaza is a nail salon, a pizza place they love, etc. Across the street from the Publix is a Target which has pretty much all else they need. And not far are other restaurants, without any bad traffic to get to them. Smaller roads, less cars, etc. Medical care wise, my mom travels to Duke university twice a year for follow ups (might be yearly now?) and they still drive, but could fly if need be (my dad hates flying and they like those long highway drives together...their honeymoon was driving to mexico from Florida - where my mom learned that although my father was honest when he said he took 4 yrs of spanish...they were all the same year as he failed it 4 times, lol). 

Ideally my sister would move near them too, she'd like the area about 25-30 minutes south of them actually a lot, but with custody stuff and divorce I don't think that will happen. But yeah, my mom talks about moving closer to sister to help, but I don't see that actually happening if my Dad and I have our say. Also, realistically, my sister likes having my parents house to go hang out at, go out on their boat, etc. My sister and her kids LOVE the beach even more than me. 

They also at one point talked about moving to the west coast of Florida for...reasons? No one really figured out that one other than at the time the water quality near their house was bad, and I think my Dad was frustrated about not being able to eat the fish they catch. That idea died at some point...I think they realized all areas are having similar water quality issues - toxic algae - just different algae. 

As for church, I'm the only one in my extended family that goes, but if I lived near my sister her kids would probably like to come to youth or sunday school stuff with mine (her two are the same ages as my middle two) - one of hers has specifically asked about church a lot. Finding an Episcopal church, where we currently attend, might be iffy, but I'd be okay driving a bit (we drive about 20 minutes now) or even attending an ECLA Lutheran Church perhaps...and if near my mom she'd enjoy going with me to church sometimes, although she doesn't attend now. She doesn't want to go by herself, and my Dad is not a church goer. 

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4 minutes ago, WildflowerMom said:

 I can only be around my parents for so long before I start to twitch.  Ymmv...

Gotcha, lol. I'm actually more like that with my sister, lol. I mean, we get along well enough now...but there have been some ugly knock down drag outs - I'd like to think we are beyond that but who knows, lol. We are VERY different, and she had a lot of insecurities growing up thinking I looked down on her, which I didn't, but it led to pushing back and ugh..yeah. Sibling stuff, lol. We do better as adults. 

My mom and I have had a few issues...she likes to give a lot of advice, but I'm good at blowing it off mostly and being polite. Until she called me to lecture me on my husband needing a vasectomy at the car dealership....sigh. Basically, beyond childbirth and birth control, we get along well. And I adore my Dad and get along GREAT with him, as does my husband. My dad and I are very very alike. Even when he gives advice I don't like, he does it from a logical place, and always with the implied understanding that it is my life, he doesn't guilt me like my mom sometimes does. But seriously, it is NOT a toxic or dysfunctional relationship. She and I get along better than she and my sister, actually, although sh and my sister spend much more time together. My sister was the rebel not me 🙂

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1 minute ago, ktgrok said:

Gotcha, lol. I'm actually more like that with my sister, lol. I mean, we get along well enough now...but there have been some ugly knock down drag outs - I'd like to think we are beyond that but who knows, lol. We are VERY different, and she had a lot of insecurities growing up thinking I looked down on her, which I didn't, but it led to pushing back and ugh..yeah. Sibling stuff, lol. We do better as adults. 

My mom and I have had a few issues...she likes to give a lot of advice, but I'm good at blowing it off mostly and being polite. Until she called me to lecture me on my husband needing a vasectomy at the car dealership....sigh. Basically, beyond childbirth and birth control, we get along well. And I adore my Dad and get along GREAT with him, as does my husband. My dad and I are very very alike. Even when he gives advice I don't like, he does it from a logical place, and always with the implied understanding that it is my life, he doesn't guilt me like my mom sometimes does. But seriously, it is NOT a toxic or dysfunctional relationship. She and I get along better than she and my sister, actually, although sh and my sister spend much more time together. My sister was the rebel not me 🙂

In that case, maybe y'all should consider being closer to the beach?   Honestly, if I could move someplace with less allergies, I'd go, especially today.  I'm dying today from this crap.  My parents live at the beach in Florida, too, but where they live has *tons* of oak trees.  I'm allergic to oak trees (not that I'd ever be able to live that close to my parents anyway).   

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And...no one quote this post...I'll delete it..but I have a FEW concerns about the cousins spending tons of time together. On the one hand, I LOVE how close they are. Especially since we have age gaps - my oldest is so much older and my youngest significantly younger. When the cousins get together it is like a Christmas and Easter rolled up in one, evry time. 

But....my older niece is VERY competitive, and VERY into pop culture, and VERY into bragging about things and just that whole "establish the pecking order" type thing that can happen in public school. Good person, sweet kid, but VERY concerned with her looks, every photo of her she poses for and makes it lik instagram perfect casual, always seems a bit insecure so has to show off how great she is, all while pretending she is being bashful, always has to be the center of attention. My DD that is her age is more shy, quiet, and NOT at all that type. So...do I want them together all the time? Ugh. I mean, I guess if they were together more there might be less showing off, since they'd know each other more and feel more natural around each other?

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Just now, WildflowerMom said:

In that case, maybe y'all should consider being closer to the beach?   Honestly, if I could move someplace with less allergies, I'd go, especially today.  I'm dying today from this crap.  My parents live at the beach in Florida, too, but where they live has *tons* of oak trees.  I'm allergic to oak trees (not that I'd ever be able to live that close to my parents anyway).   

Yup, it's oak pollen season and we are all miserable. Where I live is all oaks, I have 4 in my yard alone. More in the neighbors. My pool is pollen soup right now. My car is always yellow, etc. My parents have no oaks, I don't think there are any on their street even. But they are on Merritt Island, so different ecosystem. It varies a lot - in one nature park on one short hike you can have oak hammock, scrub, wetlands, etc. 

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14 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Yup, it's oak pollen season and we are all miserable. Where I live is all oaks, I have 4 in my yard alone. More in the neighbors. My pool is pollen soup right now. My car is always yellow, etc. My parents have no oaks, I don't think there are any on their street even. But they are on Merritt Island, so different ecosystem. It varies a lot - in one nature park on one short hike you can have oak hammock, scrub, wetlands, etc. 

don't quote...  deleted

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Take your parents and your sister out of the equation. Which scenario would better suit your family's needs? 1) A metropolitan area with easy access to public library, theaters, and a university. You are willing to accept the tradeoffs of house prices being higher, lot sizes smaller, and a lot of traffic. Or, 2) a smaller city/suburban area with easy access to beach, zoo, and wildlife habitat, and potentially less pollen. The main tradeoff in this location is that your dh will have a longer commute when/if remote work ends.     

Look for homes in that location. You do not want the main reason for moving to an area to be because that is where extended family lives.  

 

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So, since all options have what I consider a reasonable commute (~45 min max), I'd say any of the 3 options of near sister, near parents, or in between are fine and so the commute shouldn't be factored in.

[If it's factored in, I've give the edge to the in-between option, since it allows you to help your sister pretty quickly (moreso even if there's a halfway turnoff so both of you would only have to drive 10 min to drop off kids), and you wouldn't have to move house again in a few years just to help your parents unless you actually wanted to change houses. Also, if you're up to hosting family get togethers, everyone benefits by shorter driving. It's the option with the most longevity and flexibility for the future.]

But, basically, I don't think you should let the small commute differences between these options cause you to pass up the best option for YOUR family to live in. Out of the three options, what would be best for you longterm? What matches your kids needs? What commute is your DH ok with if he goes back to teaching? Do you need neighbor kids, or are closer cousins a reasonable substitute?

Since you're moving because of house size, I wouldn't try to shoe-horn yourself into something that doesn't work as well just for location; it kinda defeats the purpose of moving in the first place. If that means the smaller houses around your sisters makes it harder in that area (for example), don't focus too much hunting there.  

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I figure it is a given your DH will be returning to teaching in-person classes, so I'd definitely consider his commute (both distance + traffic) in my decision process

At least in TX, tier 1 counties (aka on the coast) have MUCH higher house insurance costs. MUCH higher. So much cheaper to be a county or two away from the coast. Maybe it isn't like that in FL, but I'd check into house insurance as that continuing cost can eat up a lot of $$$. But to balance that, auto insurance is cheaper away from metro areas. So another continuing cost to evaluate.

Re distance to relatives would be a much lower factor than my personal family's priorities. For me -- DH commute, activities for the kids, potential outsourced in-person classes (either rigorous homeschool coop or DC), solid church, decent (aka close) shopping (groceries mostly) (I had to drive 20+ minutes in one location to get groceries - and that was after they built one closer. Everything was 30+ minutes away - that eats up a lot of time and makes your day seem longer.) 

 

Re distance to relatives - how often would you realistically be going to see them? Figure in you are homeschooling, so dropping everything to go visit might not be practical or desirable. Establishing relationships with relatives is important too, so that gets thrown into the equation too.


 

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Personally I'd go for the rural in between family.

  • Less than an hour drive is really nothing compared to what most families have, especially in FL where you don't have ice and snow half of the year.
  • There will be fewer people, but IME, the people in rural areas may be friendlier, more authentic, and make more of an effort to get together.
  • More space for similar or less cost (probably).
  • Probably fewer rules and regulations about how you can use the property.
  • Closer to nature has many benefits for mental and physical health.
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Well we just shipped in both areas.  The more rural area with lots and a commute to everything and the neighborhood we could walk to everything etc.  We just kept looking until we found the best fit.  We probably drove our realtor nuts.  Our list was like well if it's in x area we want, a shop an acre  etc.  If it's in y area we want at least this much room and walk/bike able to this and that.  We found one in the rural that was perfect but couldn't get a good appraisal for va loan so no go.  The next perfect house we found was in town.   

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

 

As for church, I'm the only one in my extended family that goes, but if I lived near my sister her kids would probably like to come to youth or sunday school stuff with mine (her two are the same ages as my middle two) - one of hers has specifically asked about church a lot. Finding an Episcopal church, where we currently attend, might be iffy, but I'd be okay driving a bit (we drive about 20 minutes now) or even attending an ECLA Lutheran Church perhaps...and if near my mom she'd enjoy going with me to church sometimes, although she doesn't attend now. She doesn't want to go by herself, and my Dad is not a church goer. 

Being close to a church would be an important consideration to me.  For many years DH and I attended a church 20 minutes away (in Sunday morning traffic).  I attended there before we were married.  We found it got harder and harder as the children got older and we became more involved.  It was one thing to drive several times a week for famlly activities, but it got more difficult to drive kids for a 1 1/2 youth activity--that would end up being almost two hours in the car for me if I didn't have something in the area to do while they were in their activity.  Many of our friends are from church.  So, the kids' frieds were a 20-30 minute drive away.  If I would like to drop dinner of at a church member's house, it was an hour round trip to do so.  If a church member offered to watch one of the kids while I took another to the doctor--it was an hour rould trip to drop the kid off. 

It really started adding up.  When we moved to a church closer to us we sensed a lot more church community.  

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You didn't mention this, but I wonder if you are wanting/needing to factor it in. Will your adult son continue to live with you indefinitely? Do you need to consider his commute and/or new job opportunities?

I know this probably doesn't help, but if it were me, I would look for homes in all of the areas and pick the home that is the most affordable with the best layout. There are positive aspects to each of your options, so it seems you could be happy anywhere.

Although I would agree with prioritizing living closer to your parents, I might make a mid distance the first choice, in order not to get too far from your husband's work, in case he needs to start going back to the office someday. I know you said he would work from home permanently, but if you plan to live in your next house for (making up a number) 15-20 years, a lot could change with his employment in that time.

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Having driven in Orlando more times than I would care, my vote is to be near your parents. I think you'd be happier with a bigger yard and a bigger house. Having a big, safe place for your kids to play is priceless. And as a grandmother, I would love to have my grandkids close especially since they are still young enough to enjoy them. 

Oh, about the shed in Florida, my father bought one from Home Depot and had them do the delivery. They took care of everything on their end and all my dad had to do was paint it to match his house. The roof is as hurricane proof as a roof can get and it's a pretty solid shed.

*I didn't read any replies so please ignore anything repeated.

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2 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

 

 

Since you're moving because of house size, I wouldn't try to shoe-horn yourself into something that doesn't work as well just for location; it kinda defeats the purpose of moving in the first place. If that means the smaller houses around your sisters makes it harder in that area (for example), don't focus too much hunting there.  

I needed to read this. Years ago, a kid ago, when we thought oldest would be mostly out by now, we were talking about moving just so we'd be closer to family. But now...I think my focus is more on what house works best, cause mama's sanity is starting to go in this one! I can't see moving closer and not having a good set up ... but then I feel selfish if I say, pick something more based on house size/etc than family. 

1 hour ago, Bambam said:

I figure it is a given your DH will be returning to teaching in-person classes, so I'd definitely consider his commute (both distance + traffic) in my decision process

At least in TX, tier 1 counties (aka on the coast) have MUCH higher house insurance costs. MUCH higher. So much cheaper to be a county or two away from the coast. Maybe it isn't like that in FL, but I'd check into house insurance as that continuing cost can eat up a lot of $$$. But to balance that, auto insurance is cheaper away from metro areas. So another continuing cost to evaluate.

Re distance to relatives would be a much lower factor than my personal family's priorities. For me -- DH commute, activities for the kids, potential outsourced in-person classes (either rigorous homeschool coop or DC), solid church, decent (aka close) shopping (groceries mostly) (I had to drive 20+ minutes in one location to get groceries - and that was after they built one closer. Everything was 30+ minutes away - that eats up a lot of time and makes your day seem longer.) 

 

Re distance to relatives - how often would you realistically be going to see them? Figure in you are homeschooling, so dropping everything to go visit might not be practical or desirable. Establishing relationships with relatives is important too, so that gets thrown into the equation too.


 

So...addressing these:

We actually are not sure about DH teaching. It's a second job, not his primary income. He's talked about doing more consulting rather than teaching, or doing just course design rather than teaching, etc. So..it's so iffy it's hard to make it a major factor. 

Insurance is an issue - I'm hoping that having a newer build house will help lower insurance prices a bit regarding wind mitigation. But it is an issue. 

EVERYTHING is a drive right now. In the Orlando metro area nothing is close to anything. So a church 20 minutes a way is the norm, sadly. One of the things I like about where my mom lives is things are closer...definitely something to consider. 

We would probably see whoever we live closer to weekly, especially if it is my parents. I'd love to be able to drop the kids off, go do my grocery shopping, and pick them up, that kind of thing. 

47 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

You didn't mention this, but I wonder if you are wanting/needing to factor it in. Will your adult son continue to live with you indefinitely? Do you need to consider his commute and/or new job opportunities?

I know this probably doesn't help, but if it were me, I would look for homes in all of the areas and pick the home that is the most affordable with the best layout. There are positive aspects to each of your options, so it seems you could be happy anywhere.

Although I would agree with prioritizing living closer to your parents, I might make a mid distance the first choice, in order not to get too far from your husband's work, in case he needs to start going back to the office someday. I know you said he would work from home permanently, but if you plan to live in your next house for (making up a number) 15-20 years, a lot could change with his employment in that time.

We've decided to just not even think about when he might move out. Who knows. He'd quit his job if we move and look for one in the new area. Or he mentioned going back to school (please!). So near a community college is important but they are pretty much everywhere. 

It is true DH could change jobs, but at this point in his career working from home is the norm in his field, for the most part. 

45 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

Having driven in Orlando more times than I would care, my vote is to be near your parents. I think you'd be happier with a bigger yard and a bigger house. Having a big, safe place for your kids to play is priceless. And as a grandmother, I would love to have my grandkids close especially since they are still young enough to enjoy them. 

Oh, about the shed in Florida, my father bought one from Home Depot and had them do the delivery. They took care of everything on their end and all my dad had to do was paint it to match his house. The roof is as hurricane proof as a roof can get and it's a pretty solid shed.

*I didn't read any replies so please ignore anything repeated.

Yeah, it's hard to explain how much I HATE driving in Orlando. I actually sort of hate Orlando, period. It's too much noise, too many cars, too many shopping centers, etc etc. I mean, we have a wonderful downtown library that I NEVER go to because it's a 20-30 minute drive there, then park in a parking garage after navigating packed streets and cross the busy street with kids in tow, etc etc. So I go to the tiny local library in my little town on the outskirts of the metro area. Cause ugh, cars! Teaching DS21 to drive was a nightmare here. 

Good to know about the shed! I remember now hearing that some places will give you all the paperwork you need for insurance, etc for that. 

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I would decide by prioritizing church, health, your immediate family, and your personal finances.  Please forgive me if I am misremembering this, but didn’t you say that your DH has old student loans that are ballooning and at high interest rates?  I’d take that into account in making this decision.  

I’m not saying to disregard your parents and your sister’s locations, but they could easily move and so I don’t think that proximity to them should be the major decision making issue.  In fact, I wonder whether there are other areas you should consider that are near neither of them but that would check more of the boxes for your immediate family?

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I would decide by prioritizing church, health, your immediate family, and your personal finances.  Please forgive me if I am misremembering this, but didn’t you say that your DH has old student loans that are ballooning and at high interest rates?  I’d take that into account in making this decision.  

Yes. Which is why we can't just grab a great house in a great location, lol. We are have to be pretty careful, look for a deal, or a less than ideal location. I should add that what I consider a price stretch is WAY lower than what banks tend to say....we won't leverage oursevles to the max with a house, obviously, given student loans, etc. 

Otherwise yeah, we'd have a lot more options if we increased our price range, but we won't. Heck, there is a perfect house being built 10 minutes or less from my mom's house but it's just too much money - same house 10 minutes further would be 50K or 100K less, you know?

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1 minute ago, ktgrok said:

Yes. Which is why we can't just grab a great house in a great location, lol. We are have to be pretty careful, look for a deal, or a less than ideal location. 

I edited with a question after the first posting....

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Pick the house for your family. Bedrooms for your kids, lot size, near the beach, office for hubby, affordability on his salary all should be the criteria I will focus on.

Grandparents are nice, been near family is nice. I believe there is value in that, but I will not make a decision on location based on any of that. My family's needs and lifestyle come first.

Also, if you are looking to put a shed for DH's office and you are looking at HOA covenants, read it carefully. Many will have issues with permanent vs non-permanent structures, the height, from where it is visible etc. So watch out for that if you have any plans to do so. 

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3 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I’m not saying to disregard your parents and your sister’s locations, but they could easily move and so I don’t think that proximity to them should be the major decision making issue.  In fact, I wonder whether there are other areas you should consider that are near neither of them but that would check more of the boxes for your immediate family?

Ugh...yeah...there are some places that might work...maybe. For example Deland (not sure I want to live in Deland though..it's so dry/dusty to me, lol) or  similar area has some lower cost of housing, and closer to the beach than we are now, but farther from my family I think than I am now. Or going south, Palm Bay or even south Melbourne all have lower cost housing right now, and are in a boom, but not only are they farther from family but farther commute to the school DH does his teaching at, if he continues and goes to in person. 

Also St. Cloud, which is actually a decent commute for DH's job, but no closer to family than we are now. Also, not sure how I feel about that area, never really been there. Need to do some driving soon!

 

1 minute ago, Dreamergal said:

Pick the house for your family. Bedrooms for your kids, lot size, near the beach, office for hubby, affordability on his salary all should be the criteria I will focus on.

Grandparents are nice, been near family is nice. I believe there is value in that, but I will not make a decision on location based on any of that. My family's needs and lifestyle come first.

Also, if you are looking to put a shed for DH's office and you are looking at HOA covenants, read it carefully. Many will have issues with permanent vs non-permanent structures, the height, from where it is visible etc. So watch out for that if you have any plans to do so. 

Yeah, I really am set on him having an office in the house. Then maybe a shed just for storing stuff, if we can't get a 3 car garage. 

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Posted (edited)

If it helps at all, this map shows general locations we are talking about. Starred area is where DH may or may not teach 2 nights a week at some point. Blue house is my general area, red house is my sister's general area, black house is my parents general area. Right by my sister is too expensive, right by my parents is too expensive. 

Second photo shows where houses are that we can probably afford. As you can see, most are grouped in all the wrong places, lol. There are a few...but near the dump, near a power plant, etc so we will have to hope we grab something as it comes up, or look not near anyone. 

 

 

realtor.com map .jpeg

Edited by ktgrok
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Cocoa Beach for sure!!! I had a great uncle live there and it was one of my favorite places to visit. Of course he died some years back so I'm sure things have changed since then but I 💗 Cocoa Beach. Great memories. Thanks for bringing them back. 🙂 He had the best orange trees in his backyard.

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13 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

Cocoa Beach for sure!!! I had a great uncle live there and it was one of my favorite places to visit. Of course he died some years back so I'm sure things have changed since then but I 💗 Cocoa Beach. Great memories. Thanks for bringing them back. 🙂 He had the best orange trees in his backyard.

We had orange and lemon trees in my backyard growing up in south florida. The smell of orange blossoms is my favorite smell in the whole world. 

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Hmm....looking more, St. Cloud has houses that are probably a good price/size, about 35 minutes to my sister, same to DH's university (we are currently 45 minutes to both) and 55 minutes to my parents (currently more like 1 hour 20 minutes or more). May need to look more into that area. 

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8 hours ago, ktgrok said:

All this is hypothetical at this point. We have repairs being made on our house this month and then will have a realtor come out to give us some price ideas and will talk to a lender to figure out what we can afford to borrow, etc etc. But...all that aside, if we can move, we really really really want to. This house has 3 bedrooms for 6 people, and due to age/gender spreads sharing is becoming a real problem. Plus DH will be working from home permanently, and the noise issue is horrid here - open floor plan, terrible acoustics so that you can hear the living room TV better in the master bedroom than the living room, me constantly shushing kids all day as he is on zoom meetings in our bedroom, etc. It's driving us crazy, as is having DH working late (he's a night owl) in the space where I want to SLEEP! 

So, goal is bigger house with bedrooms for everyone and an enclosed office space, or a loft that can be enclosed, or a lot that we can put a shed on for an office (which runs into issues with permits, etc in hurricane prone Florida). 

But other goal and purpose would be to be closer to family. We currently live on the far west side of the Orlando metro area, and my sister lives on the far east side, and my parents live on the east coast. SO i'm about 1 hour and 20 minutes or more to my parents, and my sister lives right in between, so 40-45 mintues from both me and my parents. 

Options are to move near my sister, which would mean a small lot, staying in the metro area so easy commute if DH goes back to teaching some in person classes (no more than 2 times a week, at off hours), closer to my parents than we are now. Cousins closer for the kids, and I'd be closer to help my divorced sister when she needs childcare. Close to some friends, fairly easy commute to science center, theaters, etc. Good library system. Still 45 minutes to my parents and a bit further to the beach.

Move to my parents's area. I'd be near the beach again, our allergies would likely be better (more fresh sea air, less oak pollen), we'd be near my parents to help them when that becomes more of a need (they are mid 60s), close to beach, closer to some marine environmental centers, closer to the zoo. More small town (or smaller, anyway) suburbia life vs the VERY built up, high traffic of the Orlando metro area. Might be able to afford more house or larger lot (staying near my sister means tiny lots). Still 45 minutes to my sister's house. Politically, not a good fit but neither is the part of town I'm in now.Further from university, but has good community college (Florida has good community college programs with transfer after 2 yrs, etc). 

There is one area that is in between parents and sister - more rural, big lots, no sidewalks, no grocery delivery, currently a big drive to anywhere but two big roads are scheduled to have extensions finished soon . It's pretty much halfway between my sister and my parents. I know a few people (friends) who live there. Pricing might keep us out, not sure. Tons of space for dogs to run, and kids, but not going to be able to say, play out on the sidewalk with neighbor friends. Septic and well water vs city. I know most people have water softener systems and still have issues with hard water destroying appliances after a while. 

All of these may be a stretch price wise, or a matter of grabbing something as soon as we see it. Not a lot popping up. Or we have to settle for a smaller house, not enough bedrooms, etc. 

Or, there are areas that are further north or south that are not much closer to family than we are now, but on the coast or near it, and pricing is much lower and there is more being built, meaning more chances to get something. 

 

I’d move away from Orlando and closer to the coast. Better allergies, more house for the money, less traffic, same distance probably to sister but closer to parents. (If I read the directions correctly)

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As far as driving distances and locations, we lived in a metropolitan area where everything was "20 minutes away".  Having grown up in a small town, I thought it was going to be wonderful--theater 20 minutes away, a major medical center 20 minutes away, a great church 20 minutes away, ice skating rink, art museum, mall with specialty stores, major employer...  I realized I was spending a lot of "just 20 minutes" drives every day.  The "20 minutes"--by the time I allowed for traffic, a train, parking, often was closer to 30 minutes.  So, allowing for issues that was an hour round trip.  Taking the kids to the pediatrician--hour travel--then go by my mom's to pick up her tax forms I needed to complete for here--hour travel time; then on to the great activitiy at the churc--hour travel time; and, was there time to take DS to baseball practice, after all it was only 20 minutes away.  

We have now moved to where I can get most places I will go within 5 minutes.  Work, the store, the dentist, the doctor, kids' lessons, church are all within 3 miles.  If I want to go to a specialty store, I may have to drive to a mall 45 minutes away; DD was living 45 minutes away; I realized I would MUCH prefer to drive 5 minutes MOST of the time and then 45 minutes to an hour some times than to drive 20 minutes every time I was going somewhere.  I can't believe how much less stressful the driving is and it is like I gained several hours each day.  

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8 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

 

We have now moved to where I can get most places I will go within 5 minutes.  Work, the store, the dentist, the doctor, kids' lessons, church are all within 3 miles.  If I want to go to a specialty store, I may have to drive to a mall 45 minutes away; DD was living 45 minutes away; I realized I would MUCH prefer to drive 5 minutes MOST of the time and then 45 minutes to an hour some times than to drive 20 minutes every time I was going somewhere.  I can't believe how much less stressful the driving is and it is like I gained several hours each day.  

I grew up like this, but I don't anticipate being able to find it when we move, in our price range, for the size we need. 

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We have just changed from Dh having a one hour commute most days to a 20 minute commute.  Definitely makes a huge difference so I’d prioritise that.  Minutes in a day that add up over a year and a lifetime and are hard to buy back.

I have literally no clue about US but I’m wondering about the hurricane situation with Florida? Would that be a factor?  I love where I live but I wonder with climate change if eventually it’s going to be uninsurable.  I love being near family but I’ve seen a few people move near family only for the family to move away a couple of years later so I’m not sure if it’s worth it unless you’re super close.  

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40 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

We have just changed from Dh having a one hour commute most days to a 20 minute commute.  Definitely makes a huge difference so I’d prioritise that.  Minutes in a day that add up over a year and a lifetime and are hard to buy back.

I have literally no clue about US but I’m wondering about the hurricane situation with Florida? Would that be a factor?  I love where I live but I wonder with climate change if eventually it’s going to be uninsurable.  I love being near family but I’ve seen a few people move near family only for the family to move away a couple of years later so I’m not sure if it’s worth it unless you’re super close.  

I'm a Florida native 🙂  I've always lived here. So we are used to hurricane stuff 🙂 I grew up on the coast, and then moved inland, but still deal with issues even here. 

And yeah, we are a close family. I mean, we do family birthday parties for everyone, which adds up to nearly monthly, all major holidays together, etc etc. Or we did pre pandemic, anyway. Lot of catching up to do!

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What about your son's job? I recall he loves his volunteer job at the bird sanctuary and regular job? 

I would pick closer to my parents and closer to the beach. Their area sounds wonderful!

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If you use the map function on Zillow along with your house criteria, and then move it around, you may find more areas.

Cocoa West?

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8 hours ago, matrips said:

If you use the map function on Zillow along with your house criteria, and then move it around, you may find more areas.

Cocoa West?

I included a screen shot of the map function on Realtor.com above. We are looking - in theory anyway- from north of Titusville to Melbourne (even though that is probably too far form everything else) to St. Cloud to Avalon Park to Deland. Cocoa west is an ideal spot location wise but just VERY little housing inventory - we will have to be quick if we spot something. Most houses don't have the 5 bedrooms plus office space we want. There are new ones going in near the highway, but turns out they are being built right between the highway and the dump!

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

I included a screen shot of the map function on Realtor.com above. We are looking - in theory anyway- from north of Titusville to Melbourne (even though that is probably too far form everything else) to St. Cloud to Avalon Park to Deland. Cocoa west is an ideal spot location wise but just VERY little housing inventory - we will have to be quick if we spot something. Most houses don't have the 5 bedrooms plus office space we want. There are new ones going in near the highway, but utrns out they are being built right between the highway and the dump!

What is a utm?

After reading the entire thread, I weigh in heavily to choose something as close to your parents as possible.  It fits all of your other criteria and as your parents age you will be so glad you are near them.  You really just can’t imagine the difference between mid 60s and 70s.  
 

I am really surprised that prices are lower closer to the beach.  I would choose that any day over Orlando which frankly sounds like a nightmare.  

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Sorry, that was a typo. 

And prices RIGHT by the beach are high - very high, but along the coast but not right at the beach I can find some stuff in our price range pop up now and then -and definitely if I were willing to go further north or south. Not a lot of industry/shopping/culture stuff as in Orlando is my guess but all of it is being built up more as we speak. 

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I also vote for being near your parents. They don't drive you nuts and the location would be better for your youngers and more likely to be in your price range, it sounds like.

But I also would just stay open to anywhere with less/equal drive to family where you'd feel okay about the community. The house itself is the priority given that you're all really living in it and will be for the foreseeable future.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

 

But I also would just stay open to anywhere with less/equal drive to family where you'd feel okay about the community. The house itself is the priority given that you're all really living in it and will be for the foreseeable future.

See, this is what I've been thinking, but I keep hearing, "location, location, location!" as the most important thing...and maybe that is more true for people that are not IN their homes 24/7 like we are?

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Is your parent's home ideal for aging in place?  If they'll need to move in the future, I'd work that into the equation.  When my friend's father died, she combined homes with her mother.  The both sold and got a house bigger than they could afford alone plus grandma is always there to help with the kids.  It's working really well for that family.  

Your layout might be more important than square footage.  My house is not big, but it has always been a bit bigger than we actually needed.  It's just under 2000 square feet,* but we have an eat in kitchen AND a dining room; a living room AND a family room.  Because those rooms are ROOMS with walls and doorways they are easy to reassign to fit our current needs.  Our dining room is currently an accessible bedroom and our living room is a nice roomy dining room.  Our family room is the room with the couches, TV, and fireplace. I've reconfigured this house a few times and you can do this with any room that's not a kitchen or bathroom.  There's nobody policing this.

When we moved DS downstairs for accessibility, the vacant upstairs bedroom became Dh's office.  Initially his office was our bedroom and wherever he landed with his laptop.  THAT was annoying because he would attempt to type while I was sleeping and I'd bite his head off.  Dh having his own office is a game changer.  (It also confines his office mess to one space that I never have to clean.) I don't go upstairs much during the business day, so he pretty much has the floor to himself when he's working. 

When I do the math, I'd try to reduce regular commutes to 10-15 minutes and would be fine with more occasional trips taking longer.  If you have a kid going to dance 3 days a week, living close to a studio matters more than a weekly 30 minute drive to grandma's house.  With some planning, you can always change your shopping habits to suit your location, but there is no way around chauffeuring minor children to their activities. Now that my kids are grown, we don't really need the convenience of our location anymore, but it meant the world when they were little and doing something almost every day. 

 

*In the interest of full disclosure I must own up to having a basement.  It doesn't count as living space in home calculations here, but in real life, your laundry and rough storage is important.

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One thought about the rural in-between area and your dh working from home: what's the high-speed internet like? We live in a rural area, and the options aren't super great in town (very small town) - middling dsl and (new) cable, plus mediocre satellite options, and outside of town there's only satellite.  Even cell reception's not that great.  We ended up living in town in large part so we could have decent internet.

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17 hours ago, ktgrok said:

I grew up like this, but I don't anticipate being able to find it when we move, in our price range, for the size we need. 

Yes, a lot depends upon how the metropolitan area is built up.  Where we lived before, it was just the way the area had grown up.  It really didn't matter what price you paid, everything was spread out and traffic flow was horrible.  The experience left me with the attitude that I would rather be close to at least one place that I travel to frequently rather than "in the middle" of everything.  So, I would choose either being close to my parents OR close to my sister, rather than being in the middle of them. 

We were in a situation where we needed "flexible" space.  We aren't sure how long our college-aged son will live with us.  Our daughter will probably be in Europe for the next few years, but is likely to be home for a couple of months at a time.  We have an extended family member that has had periods of needing to live with us and we need quiet, work-from-home office space.  But, floor plans with lots of bedrooms didn't provide the privacy needed.  We found that older homes provided more of a setup of what we needed that a new build.  Some of the quirky features of older homes provided flexibility; the might have a screen porched that had been enclosed, a separate den space, or a separate formal dining room that could be used for a home office.  A work shed behind the garage could be used as a home office.  A pool house could be space for a young-adult apartment.  Or, the house might have an above-garage apartment.  

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7 hours ago, ktgrok said:

I included a screen shot of the map function on Realtor.com above. We are looking - in theory anyway- from north of Titusville to Melbourne (even though that is probably too far form everything else) to St. Cloud to Avalon Park to Deland. Cocoa west is an ideal spot location wise but just VERY little housing inventory - we will have to be quick if we spot something. Most houses don't have the 5 bedrooms plus office space we want. There are new ones going in near the highway, but turns out they are being built right between the highway and the dump!

🤦‍♀️ Didn’t see your map post.  Only reason I mentioned cocoa west was it looked like a nice 5 or 6 bedroom home at a decent price was in that area when I tried the Zillow thing.  Must have been one of those by the dump or highway! No wonder it seemed too good.  
 

are you working with a realtor?  They often know of homes before they are listed, and some folks buy them that way.  

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