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 Post subject: Thinking of moving house!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:07 am 
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I really would like to move, but only if doing so is a forward movement. I would appreciate some advice on things to consider, I know it sounds bizarre but it is not something I have done really before. Well not in a healthy way.

So I guess I am here in a way that says I have no family that I can discuss this stuff with, cos they will pull and shove me around. I want to find out what I need. What things I need to be considering etc... that will help make this move healthy.

I think I have pointed out enough what this area I live in is like, but I do have a bit of a mental attachment to it.

I lil background info required here perhaps.

I moved here some 5 1/2 years ago, I landed in this town having been in a womens refuge, it was a really big turning point in my life. I moved in here with very little a milk crate and a mattress three kids of 4, 2 and 3 months and a few changes of clothes. Obviously we have all grown a lot since then and our house over the year has come to feel like solid foundation and like a home. Something that over the years has required a lot of effort. I see my growth here whenever I look around me.

Thing is this area is not the greatest I am accepting that, having had fights kicking off often outside, and knowing people I would rather not from my past drug taking days. Having bricks thrown through my window in the middle of the night the fact that houses all around me are constantly getting broken into. Very hard to move forward now and give up any street connections, they seem to be disturbed by the changes i have made for myself. Things like the fact that I wont fist fight. that I would probably ring the police to get rid of the drug users from my street, for my kids protection.

I am not expecting life to be eradicated by moving and for the first time in my life I could honestly say I am not running away, I am not as naive as I once was to think that I could run from myself.

I really wanna know though what should i consider when I think of moving, responsibly.

I have a few ideas like children's education, work opportunities, that I don't drive yet is quite a factor. Is it worth moving from one part of town to another. What do I need to consider when relocating?

Might seem a silly post, but to be honest it all feels really huge to me and I hope that opening this up will make the idea less overwhelming and more opportunistic.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:22 pm 
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Okay, that does sound like a major decision so congratulations on working through it slowly and rationally. Great decision and a great way to start the process!

Work - in order to maintain your lifestyle, you'll need to be able to continue to work. You didn't mention whether or not you're also thinking of changing jobs but either way, you'll want to factor some things into the equation. If your new home is terribly far away, now the commute time is cutting into the quality of life you've been sharing with your children. If the new home is closer to work, that'd be a good thing.

Safety - if your primary focus is on finding a safer neighborhood, have you already started sussing out where those neighborhoods might be?

Transportation - depending on how you've been getting around, you might pull up the bus schedules or whatnot to help you figure out what the routes are, cross-check those against the safety, education & work factors to see where might be a good place to settle in.

Education - if moving will involve the kids changing schools (kids are now likely 9, 7 & 5), this might be upsetting to them if they have to make all new friends. If they'll have to move anyway, can you do any research on the possible schools -- what teacher:student ratios are, average testing scores, maybe a walk-through to see the environments, etc.

Child Care - it wasn't mentioned but if you've been having anyone watch your kids at times, will moving adversely impact those relationships? (Like if the little old lady next door used to watch them while you went shopping, who might be available once you move?)

Cost - obviously you want to be in a safe place that is also affordable but be sure to pay attention to hidden costs. Added child care, more bus fare, utilities previously included now being charged, added taxes or whatnot. Higher rent districts (aka safer neighborhoods) usually have higher all-around costs, even in the super markets and such.

I'm not sure if you're renting your current house or if you own it, let alone whether you're looking to buy a house when you move or not but usually I always look toward resale value. If the property values of the houses in a particular neighborhood have been declining, don't move there. If the values have been steady or are increasing, that's a good sign. (You can probably look this stuff up online; we can in the States.)

When touring a neighborhood or checking out a particular property, keep an eye to the surrounding area as well. Look at the cars. Are they rusty and have taped-up windows? Are they relatively nice, clean, minimal dents? Look at the lawns or landscaping of other properties. Are there overgrown, dead things around or do people seem to be taking good care of their property? Are there bars on the doors or windows? Do there seem to be an inordinate amount of loiterers just hanging about?

Before settling on a place to move, be sure to check out the area at different times of day and week. Looking at a place at 10am on a Tuesday when everyone is at work or school is one thing. Let's see what it's like at 10pm on Friday or noon on Saturday. Let's see what kind of commute / traffic issues you'd be dealing with going to / from work on a regular (non-holiday) work day.

I've moved well over twenty times in my life. Most of those were in my childhood as my father was a bit of a "fix and flipper" -- he'd buy a rundown looking property in a nice neighborhood, spend three years (on average) fixing it up while we lived in it and then sell it for a nice profit.

As for the house itself that you're going to be moving into, when you look at places, try to imagine yourselves in there with all your stuff. Is there enough privacy? Do there seem to be children of a similar age nearby or a park close that the kids could play in? Is the layout of the bedrooms going to work for you? (It's not terribly helpful if the bedroom you'll be in is at the far opposite side from the kids.)

When my H and I decided to move 2.5 yrs ago, we dug out a map and pinned his office and my office and then drew a circle - that was the area in which we'd like to live. Then we picked a realtor at random off the internet and said "here are the fifteen properties we found online & here's the list of information we'd like you to get for us." I wouldn't live in a covenant controlled community and I didn't want a place that wasn't setup for central air conditioning. Things like that.

The next day, she took us to visit the properties. Some of them I didn't get past the front door. One place was covered (ever floor surface) with bright blue carpeting. Gack! One place was just jam-packed with so much of the current owner's crap I couldn't even see walls or floor in most places. (I can imagine a lot but that was outrageous!) One place was decorated in a horrible manner. I'm not talking about paint and wallpaper (easy, relatively cheap fixes) - we're talking gaudy tiling everywhere - all the bathrooms, the hallways, the kitchen floors & counters. It would have cost a fortune to tone it down to a liveable condition.

We found one place we liked - nicely done, kitchen recently renovated, hardwood floors, traditional layout. We put in an offer that same day.

While we waited to hear from them, we went to look at a few more houses the next day. The first house counteroffered and we declined and put in an offer on a different house - the one we have now. It was bank-owned and had been "neutralized" -- white walls & ceilings, beige carpet throughout -- by the bank and had ceramic tile floors with granite countertops in the kitchen. (Tile floors are a way better choice for the five dogs we have. Even the hardest wood floors get torn up by dog nails.)

The previous owner (according to the mail we got for a while) owned Vega's Tile so he redid quite a lot of the place himself but then couldn't afford to keep it. It's an oddly shaped / designed little house but it's been very moderninzed (from the previous owner) and it's in the Cherry Creek School District. We don't have kids but other people do and that's THE school district to be in around here! Again, an eye toward resale.

I'm four miles from my office and my H is 8 miles from his. We live in a reasonably quiet family neighborhood where people take care of their properties. No broken down cars along the curbs and no loud parties or drug deals going down. It's not the mansions and estates type of place but it's a nice enough place.

So ... I know I kind of rambled but I hope it helps at least a little bit!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Thanks Ash lots to think on there, thanks so much!

I am realising there is a lot of considerations to make, I am gonna make a start by looking into at a few possible areas first sounds like a great plan.

I am not too concerned about leaving anyone behind, I tend to pay for childcare I need not too many friendly old ladies around here. So that frees me up some, I am used to being a tad isolated in my neighborhood now so I wont mind that too much either. In fact finding a place where people are less inclined to want to get involved in my life is one of the priorities. I am wanting to keep myself to myself pretty much and invite those I wish to have in.

Education is an important factor but I travel to take my children to school as it is as the local schools are not great. I have managed to get them good school places now though so yes that is certainly something to be weighed in.

My job, its fairly new and I have managed to so much better than I could ever have anticipated as I will be moving to full time in the next few weeks. However, I would be happy to seek employment elsewhere, and given that this will take some time, I will have more experience to take with me by then.

I can see I am going to need some patience. Looking at what you say though it is a great opportunity to get some of what I would like to have as well as what I need.

Thanks for taking time to respond I will be referring to your post whilst I search.

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Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.-Washington Irving


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