Sunday, January 11, 2009


About 4 years ago, we moved from a rather small house (~1200 sq ft) to one that is nearly double the size. There were several reasons. One was the arrival of DS in addition to DD which made the two bedroom home we were in a bit tight. Another reason was that the location of the house was right on a busy road where we were truly nervous to have the children play in the yard. We also had a difficult driveway, electric heat, and not a stellar lot. I think you get the idea. One of the OTHER reasons that we wanted to upgrade was to be able to have friends and family be able to come and visit without DW and I having to give up our bedroom and sleep on the couch in the living room.

Overall, the change has been pretty nice. We now have a flat yard that is off the beaten path with a flat paved driveway that is easy to clear of snow. The neighborhood is very nice and has lots of children, although we miss our next-door neighbors from our previous house. The house is big enough for us to entertain comfortably and for people to park without shuffling cars like you were managing a Rubik's cube or playing one of those "15" puzzles. The house was in very good condition, and the maintenance requirements are very low. There were also some nice perks including the oil heat (no more schlepping wood to feed the woodstove that we were using to keep the cost of the electric heat down to a dull roar...) the whole-house airconditioner, the extra bathrooms (whew!) and a first-floor laundry. The house also has an unfinished basement with high ceilings and large potential for my new work/boat shop.

We even had my in-laws come and visit for an extended stay and I think they quite enjoyed their stay at the Chateau D'Zaster - particularly that they had The West Wing (a rather large and comfortable master bedroom suite with private bath) to themselves.

There are a few downsides. First would be that a smaller mortgage/tax/utility bills would have been nice. Strangely, it seems that we really seem to have had fewer overnight visitors since we moved into this house. Also, even though we are very thrifty with our usage and concerned about the environment, the utility bills, although small for a house this size, are still rather large - particularly the heating and water bills (the house has a sprinkler system which is really required to grow any grass...) Still, we do our best to reduce, re-use and recycle. One really strange side-effect to the house that DW found out was that sometimes you'd get visitors who didn't come back after seeing the large house - like they couldn't associate with us once they found out what house we lived in!

In the whole scheme of things we probably could have gone with a smaller house and paid to put friends and family up in a really REALLY nice local hotel when they came to visit. One driving factor was that the price was fair and that the loan rate at the time was one of the cheapest I'll probably ever see in my lifetime.

Still, would we have bought this house again? Yes, I think so.

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