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


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4 hours ago, ktgrok said:

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?

When people say location location, they generally mean be in a good area, not next to a dump or highway or fire station, or airport, just to have a big house or a house with the features they want.  And I think you’re already being careful of that.

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Live as close as possible to the amenities you will use the most (church, grocery, kids activities, parents) with occasional longer commutes to other things.

Daily/weekly 5-10 minute commutes give so much time back to your family and sanity!

From your description, it sounds like closer to your parents is the best option if you can find a house that will meet most/all of your requirements and price point.

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I would stay in the metro. Who knows if Dh will be able to WFH for forever. It also makes a longer commute for kids who may want to live at home and attend community college. 
 

I would map out Costco, Trader Joe’s, Target, church, and whatever else you normally do in life and then build out little 15 minute radii from that. I always buy a house that is in a nexus of all of those things because those are the places I go on the regular. I also buy in a good school district because those houses hold value better. (There is a fascinating study on housing values near Trader Joe’s that was on NPR in 2015 or so....they typically appreciate more than other neighborhoods because TJ is very careful about where they build).

Getting into a house that meets your needs is way more important than the location to family issue. The only exception is if you plan to be a daily caregiver, and then you want to be within a mile....

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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I would stay in the metro. Who knows if Dh will be able to WFH for forever. It also makes a longer commute for kids who may want to live at home and attend community college. 
 

I would map out Costco, Trader Joe’s, Target, church, and whatever else you normally do in life and then build out little 15 minute radii from that. I always buy a house that is in a nexus of all of those things because those are the places I go on the regular. I also buy in a good school district because those houses hold value better. (There is a fascinating study on housing values near Trader Joe’s that was on NPR in 2015 or so....they typically appreciate more than other neighborhoods because TJ is very careful about where they build).

Getting into a house that meets your needs is way more important than the location to family issue. The only exception is if you plan to be a daily caregiver, and then you want to be within a mile....

Thankfully, there are community colleges near most/all areas we are looking at, although the drive from the halfway place would be harder, that's true. 

As for the stores, I can pretty definitively say that finding a house super close to all those would mean we'd only be able to afford a house that is way too small 😞 

Where I live now I'm lucky enough to have a Walmart, that is not so great, 5-10 minutes away, but Target is closer to 20 minutes, Whole Foods is 30, church is 20-30 minutes, Science Center is 20-40 minutes, Home Depot and Lowes are 20 minutes, etc etc. Which was how we could afford this house when we got it, lol. So I can handle that, although closer is nicer. I just don't think I can trade closer to shopping for enough space in the house. 

Edited to add - this makes me miss the place I grew up in so much! I could walk or ride my bike to a small shopping area with a convenience store, pizza place, and ice cream parlor, and just beyond that was a grocery store. When I was in highschool I rode my bike to the library where I had a part time job. Now...those tiny houses built in the 1950s are way way way out of my price range, lol. Couldn't go back if I wanted to. 

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Ugh...realizing that there are no Whole Foods stores near my that part of the east coast of Florida! With a gluten free kid, we rely on whole foods for gluten free swedish meatballs, donuts, etc. I do see some smaller health food stores though...probably could get that stuff there. Another thing to look into!

The area closer to my sister that has houses we can afford (smaller lots, similar house size) is super close to grocery stores, and parks, craft stores, etc. But...there is a coal power plant (converting to natural gas over the next several years) about 3 miles away. Trying to find info on how bad that is .. the air quality now website shows good air quality in that area...and the thing claims to be one of the cleanest in the country, etc but..gives me pause. 

 

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Katie—what elevation is Cocoa Beach? I think that’s something else to consider. They are expecting a sea level rise of another 6” in the next 15 years. It’s becoming an issue here in the Pacific. When we get king tides we are seeing a Highway (only connection point north/south within 50 miles) go under water in a couple of locations and houses and restaurants get flooded on the regular. Properties are starting to be abandoned/reclaimed by the sea.

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3 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Katie—what elevation is Cocoa Beach? I think that’s something else to consider. They are expecting a sea level rise of another 6” in the next 15 years. It’s becoming an issue here in the Pacific. When we get king tides we are seeing a Highway (only connection point north/south within 50 miles) go under water in a couple of locations and houses and restaurants get flooded on the regular. Properties are starting to be abandoned/reclaimed by the sea.

Well I mean, most of Florida isn't much above sea level. But Cocoa isn't actually right on the coast - there are two barrier islands between it and the ocean proper. First Cocoa Beach, then Merritt Island, then you get to Cocoa. But either way, I don't want right on the edge of water due to insurance reasons, etc. I'm looking closely at flood maps, etc as well. 

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So, remember when I asked about living near a dump? I actually still love that location otherwise, and I wanted more info. I used google maps, and found a horse stable that is even closer to the dump, same street as the housing development, and then found the stable's website and emailed them. I knew it was a bit weird, but explained I'm trying to get info on the area. She emaild me back and now we are going back and forth with pros and cons of different areas! How cool that she emailed me back! And is being super helpful, lol. (turns out she says only smell issue is a "wet mulch" smell a few times a year  - although she does admit as someone who runs a stable maybe she's not the right one to ask. Biggest/only issue is that people try to drive around the trucks which she worries could cause an accident. Now we are talking about other areas in the city, etc etc, lol. 

The internet is so useful!

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9 hours ago, ktgrok said:

So, remember when I asked about living near a dump? I actually still love that location otherwise, and I wanted more info. I used google maps, and found a horse stable that is even closer to the dump, same street as the housing development, and then found the stable's website and emailed them. I knew it was a bit weird, but explained I'm trying to get info on the area. She emaild me back and now we are going back and forth with pros and cons of different areas! How cool that she emailed me back! And is being super helpful, lol. (turns out she says only smell issue is a "wet mulch" smell a few times a year  - although she does admit as someone who runs a stable maybe she's not the right one to ask. Biggest/only issue is that people try to drive around the trucks which she worries could cause an accident. Now we are talking about other areas in the city, etc etc, lol. 

The internet is so useful!

Such a nice and informative person. You should send her a copy of your book as a thank you. She likes horses, so stands to reason she'll also like puppies!

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1 hour ago, Kalmia said:

Such a nice and informative person. You should send her a copy of your book as a thank you. She likes horses, so stands to reason she'll also like puppies!

What a great idea! 

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so, we visited my parents this weekend and I have new thoughts, lol. 

My mom is more frail than I'd like to see her. Now, granted, she fell and likely broke some ribs last weekend (her mattress slipped off her bed partway, and she rolled right off!). But her COPD is not great, she's moving slower, etc. This year of pandemic living was harder on her than I realized. She used to be quite active - shopping, babysitting my sister's kids, going out with friends, etc and this past year she has basically sat at home. I'm hopeful she will regain some energy as she heals from her fall, and can get more active. 

In good news though, my Dad is doing amazing! He's lost almost 50lb in the past year, and walks abou 5 miles a day, plus fixes stuff around the house, gardens, etc. He looks years younger than he did last year. 

Which means he's able to help out in day to day stuff right now. Actually, he does most of it. He cleans, he helps with cooking, he shops, etc. What he is NOT going to be able to do as well as my mom is babysit my sister's kids. He's just ...quiet and slow spoken and her kids are energetic and non stop and yeah. I mean, he'd keep them safe, but my mom would end up entertaining them. 

So, I'm thinking it makes more sense, all else being equal, for me to live closer to my sister, so I can help her out, which by extension helps my mother out. Does that make sense? 

If at some point he is not physically able to help her, at that point he's also not going to be out on the boat and such, and it would make sense for them to move closer to my sister and I, or in with my family. They could likely afford to buy a house on the same street as one of us if able to live alone, or we are planning on buying something with a downstairs bedroom and bathroom with walk in shower with the idea it would be elder friendly. Or, if something happens, heaven forbid, to Dad and it is just mom, she'd just move in with us, or if she was still okay to be on her own, move around the block or down the street, etc. At that point, one of us could drive her anywhere, so Orlando driving isn't an issue. 

Near my sister also means being only 10  minutes to Publix, Target, Walmart, Old Navy etc. 15 to Home Depot, tons of retail shopping, park with a splash pad, etc. Dog park is nearby as well. And 25 minutes to current church if we don't find a closer one we like, same to big science center that we used to have a membership to, theater that does educational matinee, etc. That would leave about 40 minutes to my parents and a few more to the beach. 

Does all that make sense? (also closer if DH ever does in person classes again at the university - his part time job - although at this point he's thinking he'll stay online)

 

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2 hours ago, ktgrok said:

so, we visited my parents this weekend and I have new thoughts, lol. 

My mom is more frail than I'd like to see her. Now, granted, she fell and likely broke some ribs last weekend (her mattress slipped off her bed partway, and she rolled right off!). But her COPD is not great, she's moving slower, etc. This year of pandemic living was harder on her than I realized. She used to be quite active - shopping, babysitting my sister's kids, going out with friends, etc and this past year she has basically sat at home. I'm hopeful she will regain some energy as she heals from her fall, and can get more active. 

In good news though, my Dad is doing amazing! He's lost almost 50lb in the past year, and walks abou 5 miles a day, plus fixes stuff around the house, gardens, etc. He looks years younger than he did last year. 

Which means he's able to help out in day to day stuff right now. Actually, he does most of it. He cleans, he helps with cooking, he shops, etc. What he is NOT going to be able to do as well as my mom is babysit my sister's kids. He's just ...quiet and slow spoken and her kids are energetic and non stop and yeah. I mean, he'd keep them safe, but my mom would end up entertaining them. 

So, I'm thinking it makes more sense, all else being equal, for me to live closer to my sister, so I can help her out, which by extension helps my mother out. Does that make sense? 

If at some point he is not physically able to help her, at that point he's also not going to be out on the boat and such, and it would make sense for them to move closer to my sister and I, or in with my family. They could likely afford to buy a house on the same street as one of us if able to live alone, or we are planning on buying something with a downstairs bedroom and bathroom with walk in shower with the idea it would be elder friendly. Or, if something happens, heaven forbid, to Dad and it is just mom, she'd just move in with us, or if she was still okay to be on her own, move around the block or down the street, etc. At that point, one of us could drive her anywhere, so Orlando driving isn't an issue. 

Near my sister also means being only 10  minutes to Publix, Target, Walmart, Old Navy etc. 15 to Home Depot, tons of retail shopping, park with a splash pad, etc. Dog park is nearby as well. And 25 minutes to current church if we don't find a closer one we like, same to big science center that we used to have a membership to, theater that does educational matinee, etc. That would leave about 40 minutes to my parents and a few more to the beach. 

Does all that make sense? (also closer if DH ever does in person classes again at the university - his part time job - although at this point he's thinking he'll stay online)

 

It makes perfect sense to me.

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Oh, and my Dad drives just fine at this point. For many many years his job was driving around all day to fix ATM machines, so he drove a lot. Before that he did a stint as a delivery driver, then most recently he drove 45 minutes or more each way to commute. He still drives when they go from Florida to Duke University Medical Center in North Caroline yearly for mom's check ups, etc. And before the pandemic mom was willing and able to drive to my sister's house regularly, as long as it wasn't after dark (her cateract surgery makes it so she sees street lights/etc weirdly at night). Right now, I would not say she'd be up to that, but again my impression may be colored by her healing from her fall out of bed. (they did get a bed rail for her, and will monitor the mattress daily to be sure it doesn't slide off again - that was the issue)

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16 hours ago, ktgrok said:

so, we visited my parents this weekend and I have new thoughts, lol. 

My mom is more frail than I'd like to see her. Now, granted, she fell and likely broke some ribs last weekend (her mattress slipped off her bed partway, and she rolled right off!). But her COPD is not great, she's moving slower, etc. This year of pandemic living was harder on her than I realized. She used to be quite active - shopping, babysitting my sister's kids, going out with friends, etc and this past year she has basically sat at home. I'm hopeful she will regain some energy as she heals from her fall, and can get more active. 

In good news though, my Dad is doing amazing! He's lost almost 50lb in the past year, and walks abou 5 miles a day, plus fixes stuff around the house, gardens, etc. He looks years younger than he did last year. 

Which means he's able to help out in day to day stuff right now. Actually, he does most of it. He cleans, he helps with cooking, he shops, etc. What he is NOT going to be able to do as well as my mom is babysit my sister's kids. He's just ...quiet and slow spoken and her kids are energetic and non stop and yeah. I mean, he'd keep them safe, but my mom would end up entertaining them. 

So, I'm thinking it makes more sense, all else being equal, for me to live closer to my sister, so I can help her out, which by extension helps my mother out. Does that make sense? 

If at some point he is not physically able to help her, at that point he's also not going to be out on the boat and such, and it would make sense for them to move closer to my sister and I, or in with my family. They could likely afford to buy a house on the same street as one of us if able to live alone, or we are planning on buying something with a downstairs bedroom and bathroom with walk in shower with the idea it would be elder friendly. Or, if something happens, heaven forbid, to Dad and it is just mom, she'd just move in with us, or if she was still okay to be on her own, move around the block or down the street, etc. At that point, one of us could drive her anywhere, so Orlando driving isn't an issue. 

Near my sister also means being only 10  minutes to Publix, Target, Walmart, Old Navy etc. 15 to Home Depot, tons of retail shopping, park with a splash pad, etc. Dog park is nearby as well. And 25 minutes to current church if we don't find a closer one we like, same to big science center that we used to have a membership to, theater that does educational matinee, etc. That would leave about 40 minutes to my parents and a few more to the beach. 

Does all that make sense? (also closer if DH ever does in person classes again at the university - his part time job - although at this point he's thinking he'll stay online)

 

I am glad I read this again this morning because last night I did not think it made sense, but now it does.  🙂 

My one question is if they end up needing more help will they be willing to move closer to you and your sister?

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

I am glad I read this again this morning because last night I did not think it made sense, but now it does.  🙂 

My one question is if they end up needing more help will they be willing to move closer to you and your sister?

They are practical people. And loyal to family to the end. So yes, if they needed more care, they would move. As long as they can still go out on the boat, and fish, and enjoy the island life they have, they want to. So I'd had in my head we need to move near them. But in reality, if/when they are at a point to need daily help, they won't be doing those things anymore anyway, right?  Like, if they can still do those things, they don't need me to live right near by. 40 minutes is probably fine. 

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15 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

They are practical people. And loyal to family to the end. So yes, if they needed more care, they would move. As long as they can still go out on the boat, and fish, and enjoy the island life they have, they want to. So I'd had in my head we need to move near them. But in reality, if/when they are at a point to need daily help, they won't be doing those things anymore anyway, right?  Like, if they can still do those things, they don't need me to live right near by. 40 minutes is probably fine. 

Yep makes sense.

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1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

They are practical people. And loyal to family to the end. So yes, if they needed more care, they would move. As long as they can still go out on the boat, and fish, and enjoy the island life they have, they want to. So I'd had in my head we need to move near them. But in reality, if/when they are at a point to need daily help, they won't be doing those things anymore anyway, right?  Like, if they can still do those things, they don't need me to live right near by. 40 minutes is probably fine. 

Yep. When they are needing daily help, they should move in to within a mile or three of you...no more than a 10 minute drive. And, it will make more sense for them to be by you and your sister so you can trade off childcare if emergencies pop up.

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1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Yep. When they are needing daily help, they should move in to within a mile or three of you...no more than a 10 minute drive. And, it will make more sense for them to be by you and your sister so you can trade off childcare if emergencies pop up.

Oh, good point! Hadn't even thought of that. But yeah, that way sister could help out some, much harder to do that if my family and my parents are farther away. 

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1 minute ago, ktgrok said:

Oh, good point! Hadn't even thought of that. But yeah, that way sister could help out some, much harder to do that if my family and my parents are farther away. 

Yeah. The covering hospitalizations stuff becomes really real.  Hospitalizations are very disorienting for the elderly and facilitating conversations with doctors and covering overnights (bed alarms aren't 100%) becomes really hard to do by yourself. Usually the spouse is too tired and needs to sleep at night. The in-between phase of doctor visits and hospitalizations prior to nursing home/assisted living care is hard.

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