As you all know by now, Paul and I are building a home! It’s been a dream of mine for years, and I cannot believe it’s actually happening. Despite the crazy season we’ve been in, we’ve actually spent the last year+ looking at builders and areas of the city we’d most like to be in longterm for our family. We knew the general area we wanted to be in, but figuring out which exact neighborhood we wanted to invest in was a big decision. Truly, we studied the schools, the projected increase in home value, growth, what businesses were coming around it, etc. These factors played a heavy part in where we eventually decided to say “yes” to! (It changed multiple times) Because this was something we started exploring so long ago, when the pandemic/job changes/etc happened, we knew we still wanted to move forward. We knew that even when everything felt crazy, this was something we knew we wanted for our family regardless.
Below I have a list of things to consider when making the HUGE decision to build… or move your family in general. It’s a big decision for you and your family, and I hope these things help you!
- Drive to the neighborhoods you love most all hours of the day to see what it’s like. We legit drove to our top considered neighborhoods as we navigated the building process multiple times a week, and often at different times of the day. We wanted to see what it’s like in the morning, afternoon, rush hour, and evening. This actually is what ultimately deterred us from one neighborhood we thought was “the one”, because the heavy traffic on the road right in front just wasn’t worth it as we weighed the options.
- Time the drives to the places you would be going to most! We would time the drive from where we were looking to my most worked with clients, our favorite restaurants, family, church, Costco, etc. Having a beautiful home just isn’t worth it if you’re spending hours in the car a week to get anywhere you need to go to. This number will be different for everybody, too! Come to a decision as a couple together for your MAX distance you want to be from “x,y,z” and go from there. For us, we landed on a neighborhood about 15 minutes from the heart of where we will be doing the most of our “life.” It was the best fit for us – quiet enough to fit my desire for land but close enough to the city to fit Paul’s desires for a neighborhood, and all within an easy drive that is 15 minutes or less.
- Look at the schools! Whether you have a ten year old, a two year old, or have no kids at all but want to one day… Buying or building a home is an investment in your family so far beyond the physical presence of your home. Hopefully, if you build a home, it’s somewhere you get to stay put in for years. We looked at the schools our kids would attend if we chose certain neighborhoods, looking up everything from crime to test scores and everything in between. Most home search sites are great for all of this and include ratings of school from 1-10!
- Do the people look like you? Now, listen. I don’t mean “Is everybody a clone of me and have blonde hair/white/petite.” That’d be freaking boring. I don’t mean ethnicity or size or anything of the sort. In fact, I am grateful that we have seen quite a bit of diversity in our soon to be neighborhood! What I mean is do you see people you could do life with? When we would drive around our now soon to be neighborhood, we would watch what people in the neighborhood were doing. Big, small, old, young, we saw families out walking together with their dogs and kids. We saw people with strollers in the evening heading down to the lake. We saw grandparents out playing tennis at the tennis courts. We saw an active community of people who, regardless of age or color or size, looked like we value similar things that could be beneficial for us as a family to have around.
I will be sharing so much more over the coming months about the building process itself. You guys have asked great questions from how to choose your builder, your lot, your floor plan, and more. I will be sharing a peek into the entire process to hopefully help set you up well for your own!