Do you ever get the feeling that the perfect house for your family just doesn’t exist? Like there’s nothing on the market that can meet all your needs let alone your wants? That’s the dilemma we are currently facing. We’ve been growing increasingly unsatisfied with our current home, but there doesn’t seem to be any other existing houses in our budget that will suit our needs. Unfortunately the next rung in the property ladder is well beyond a reasonable budget. So we’re getting creative instead!
This blog post contains affiliate links. Learn more.
My big dream is to live in a cottage by the sea. I want the space and the air and the freedom feelings of country living. My husband would like to live downtown in a big city. Our dreams don’t quite line up. lol. So we need compromise!
Our limitations include maintaining a reasonable commute for my husband (under 30 mins) and staying within our current school district. We love our boys’ school and I don’t think my oldest could handle the disruption of switching schools.
Those limitations really narrow down the available areas we could possibly move to.
When we search for listings, we have been nothing but disappointed. The only homes available are either major fixer-uppers (which we’ve done before and no thanks) or are these horrible ugly McMansions that we wouldn’t want even if we could afford them!
Instead, what we’re looking at doing is finding a plot of land where we can build a modest and tasteful home. I’ve accepted that our current lifestyle can’t accommodate my country living dream, we’ll I’m trying to accept it anyway, so we’re looking for land within city limits.
My husband is a trained carpenter, and with all the renos we’ve done over the years I’m pretty comfortable with some DIY tasks too. So our plan (it might sound a little nutso) is to buy the land, and outsource the build until we run out of money. Then we’ll finish the rest ourselves. It seems to be the only way we’ll be able to get the kind of home we want. I want cozy and bright and super-functional and pretty and tasteful. It’s no small task.
And I’m not scared to rough-it a little as long as we can get the kitchen and one bathroom done before the money runs out!
This might not be our forever home, but it will be our for-quite-a-while-home and it’s both terrifying and totally exciting!
I love the idea of the tiny-house movement, but realistically a tiny house would not suit our family. Instead we’ve fallen in love with a modest house plan, around 1775 square feet, and we’ll look into hiring a residential architect to either help us modify it or to design something similar for us from scratch.
It’s been fun to sit my husband and look at the house plans and picture ourselves living there! We’ve kind of bonded over it, which has been nice. Dreaming together is nice.
The house plan has a ground floor bedroom with an attached deck that would be my studio space. And I think with careful planning and landscaping, I could maybe feel like I’m a rural living girl. I think it’s a pretty good compromise for now. And maybe when the kids are out of school I’ll get that ocean view I’m dreaming of. 🙂
Our sort-of-ok-but-not-really Neighbourhood
If you’re wondering why we’ve become unhappy with our current home, I’ll share a little.
We never intended this house to be a forever home. It was quite literally the best house we could buy that was within our budget. My husband was in school and our kids were really little and this house was move-in ready without making us house poor. (We’ve done quite a few updates though, major reno projects and smaller makeovers.)
Now our budget hasn’t grown by much, but our boys have. And they go outside to play by themselves now. And our neighbourhood isn’t the most awesome. I mean, we certainly feel safe here, but it’s not ideal. I want something different for my boys.
Plus my kitchen is abysmally small. That might make me seem like a complainer, but only one person can fit in my kitchen at once and that’s not an exaggeration. I’m over it. I want a decent kitchen. Lol.
Other than the kitchen, the house itself is fine. It’s not a great layout, there’s a lot of wasted space, but it works well enough. I’ve put a lot of work into making it as cozy as possible this year. The biggest issue is the neighbourhood. And no amount of decor can fix that!
We’re not exactly sure of our timeline yet. It would be amazing if we could get the ball rolling in the Spring. But we’ll just have to take it one step at a time.
Are you working towards a dream house? Tell me all about it in the comments!