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Old 12-07-2008, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Escondido, CA
1,504 posts, read 5,285,407 times
Reputation: 876

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So, I'm thinking to buy a house sometime next year. My kids are still in diapers, but their well-being is obviously a concern for me.

Option #1 is to do what everyone else does and go for best schools. Problem is, if I only look in the areas with highest-rated schools within a half-hour commute from work, my income is only sufficient to buy a new house like this

http://maps.google.com/maps?client=f...,0.002414&z=19

or an older and slightly smaller house here

http://maps.google.com/maps?client=f...,0.002414&z=19

In some of these houses you can literally stick your head out of the window and touch the wall of your neighbor's house. That seems to be the norm here. For me, this kind of density is depressing. I am having a hard time convincing myself to take on a half a million dollar debt for 5000 square feet of land. There are occasional places where I can get as much as 8000-9000 sf, but that is uncommon.

On the other hand, it's likely that there will be many children in the immediate neighborhood, for my kids to play with.

Option #2 is to go semi-rural. Further out, there are places where I can get a nice house and more than half an acre of land, for the same money. Schools are somewhat lower rated but still good. It's obviously more isolated. There would be orange trees and avocado trees, even horse trails nearby.

It might look like this (same scale)

http://maps.google.com/maps?client=f...,0.002414&z=19

I'd enjoy the opportunity to have that, but I'm not sure if that is best for children.

I am an immigrant, so I don't have any first-hand experience growing up in either setting.

What would you choose for your own family? Dense kid-friendly neighborhood or growing up close to nature?

Last edited by esmith143; 12-07-2008 at 02:17 AM.. Reason: correct link

 
Old 12-07-2008, 10:00 AM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,212,836 times
Reputation: 3167
Suburban schools and kid friendly neighborhoods. Those neighbors you can reach out and touch may help you out with babysitting (or you them) or give your kid a ride to school when you are too sick to get out of bed.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Denver area
21,038 posts, read 21,786,875 times
Reputation: 35129
Different things work for different families. Suburbs worked for us but I know several families who live more out in the country and love it. One thing to consider is as your kids get older they will want to play with friends from school. Or have projects due that require several kids getting together. Or be involved with sports or music or dance. Are you willing and able to do all the driving that will be necessary? One thing that I have really liked is that my son (15) can hop on his bike and get to a friends house or the neighborhood pool or whatever. I work part time so if he had to hang out at home during the summer months waiting for me to be available to cart him around town he'd be very frustrated. Just something to consider.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Denver area
21,038 posts, read 21,786,875 times
Reputation: 35129
Also meant to mention...after school stuff. I know our school district has cut out the "late" or "activity" busses due to budget restraints. I am grateful to live withing walking distance of our HS as my son frequently stays late for extra help or sports practices or to watch a game or whatever - he does not have to make arrangements for me to come get him or miss out on the opportunites of participating in sports or getting afterschool help...
 
Old 12-07-2008, 11:19 AM
 
Location: SD
896 posts, read 3,844,362 times
Reputation: 337
Hmm..I'd have to agree that it's different strokes for different folks. If you live in the rural area, you have to be prepared to drive your children to activities and play dates, etc. whereas in a subdivision, they can just go outside and play. When I lived in Florida, my children were very small and a few of our friends from Gymboree lived 30 minutes out of town. Eventually, two of the friends got frustrated always driving into town for activities and get-togethers and ended up moving closer. As someone whose always lived in the suburbs, I don't know anything else. I agree that high density living absolutely sucks. I live in one such place right now and although I love my house, I don't love hearing the barking dogs, traffic driving by or my neighbors getting in and out of the car. I do love the proximity to the freeway, my children's school, activities and their friends.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 03:48 PM
 
995 posts, read 1,599,879 times
Reputation: 753
How far is the semi-rural community? Is it close to more developed suburbs? I've been thinking about the same thing actually. For me, something between a rural area and a suburb, close to major amenities, would be ideal to raise my future kids.
 
Old 12-07-2008, 06:19 PM
 
5,244 posts, read 4,177,088 times
Reputation: 1837
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5FLgirls View Post
Hmm..I'd have to agree that it's different strokes for different folks. If you live in the rural area, you have to be prepared to drive your children to activities and play dates, etc. whereas in a subdivision, they can just go outside and play. When I lived in Florida, my children were very small and a few of our friends from Gymboree lived 30 minutes out of town. Eventually, two of the friends got frustrated always driving into town for activities and get-togethers and ended up moving closer. As someone whose always lived in the suburbs, I don't know anything else. I agree that high density living absolutely sucks. I live in one such place right now and although I love my house, I don't love hearing the barking dogs, traffic driving by or my neighbors getting in and out of the car. I do love the proximity to the freeway, my children's school, activities and their friends.
Actually the last house you have listed to be in a "rural" area, is actually not in very rural. I have seen that house and it is beautiful plus, there is a Gymboree, a mall, The Little Gym, gymnastics places, library, good schools, all within 10-15 minutes away from that house. That neighborhood is considered very nice. Now, if you want more museums, amusement parks, zoo, major convention venues, you will be driving about 45 minutes to those places. Or there is a place called The Woodlands that also has nice shopping that is about 30 minutes away from that place. Good luck.
 
Old 12-08-2008, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,862,812 times
Reputation: 1891
I also say it depends on what you really want. You have to be "careful" in neighborhoods such as the first google map, how close do you REALLY want to be to people? It is rare these days to find neighborhoods where people actually like eachother. Everyone is different,everyone is busy with their "own" lives, I find it a very rare "gem" when you have a neighbor that reaches out to you.
I feel more secure in a neighborhood because there is always someone you can go to in case of an emergency, but that doesn't mean that they are my best friend or that my children play with their children.
Sometimes I regret living in a normal,surburan development because there is sooo much gossip and high school nonsense that goes on with the mom's, it is actually quite amusing sometimes, but easier to just stay to yourself.
I would think a happy medium, a nice small neighborhood that isn't to far from conveniences would work great for us,but maybe not so much for others.....

Good Luck with your decision!
 
Old 12-09-2008, 08:04 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,122,601 times
Reputation: 2765
I was born and raise in a big city. I swore I would raise mine in the country. My sister and oldest brother raised theirs in a big city... The ones raised in the big cities turned out really bad, mine raised in the country came out a lot better. Less to get into out in the country, less exposier to drugs, gangs and bad influences.
 
Old 12-09-2008, 08:21 AM
 
5,065 posts, read 13,115,542 times
Reputation: 3491
When my teenagers were young we lived in a city with homes close together, on a tiny .11 acre lot. It was refreshing to move to a more rural town with an acre of land, filled with parks, hiking, biking, camping, fishing, sports, you name it. We didn't like being so near our neighbors in the city (many of whom we didn't like), it was so noisy and crowded. Every time our neighbor lit a cigar or cigarette I had to close the windows. And the schools here have less violence and drugs than the old ones did. But what works for one family might not work for another, it's a personal decision.
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