I have a side-gig going … I do in-home wine tastings. Why? Because I needed a tax shelter and I love, love, love wine.

Friday night I was conducting a wine tasting for a girlfriend of mine. She lives in a new neighborhood – the kind where everyone moved in to their homes at the same time. All of the neighbors know each other and regularly socialize and all of the kids play together.

When the Husband and I decided to move here four and a half years ago we looked at both new and old homes. We meticulously created a pros and cons list for purchasing a new home versus an old home – I still have the list:

New Home – Pros
– everything’s new! No need to replace plumbing, update bathrooms, etc.
– neighborhood is full of families with young children
– our kid(s) will grow up with plenty of kids to play with at any given moment
– new schools

New Home – Cons
– cookie cutter houses – lack of character
– very small backyard
– no front porch
– garage (note: I hate the fact that the garage door is a focal point on most new homes – the first thing you see when you drive up. So, so, so ugly!)
– lack of mature shade trees

Old Home – Pros
– lots of large tree-lined streets
– beautiful, unique homes full of character
– large front porch
– large backyard
– highly desirable neighborhood – great resale value

Old Home – Cons
– neighbors are more mature – not many small children
– lots of projects needed to update/upgrade

When we were looking for our home, the Husband and I were newly married and without child. We did think about our future as a family, but in retrospect we certainly didn’t grasp the significance of it all.

After much discussion about our pros and cons list, we ended up in a beautiful old home, built in 1917. It’s in a highly desirable neighborhood – one that we could afford only because we moved to what used to be ‘affordable Sacramento’ from ‘outrageously expensive San Francisco’. We love the home – it’s everything we wanted.

The problem is our wants have changed. Now that we have V, and we want to give him the best childhood we can, we are sad that our beautiful home in our desirable neighborhood lacks families with small children. On our entire block there three families with kids and, because of the way our block it situated, we’ve never even spoken to two of those families. The one family we do know is moving soon … ugh.

A common topic of conversation is whether or not we should move. We don’t want to leave our house, but at the same time we want our son to grow up with a neighborhood feel like we both experienced when we were kids. You know the kind … where kids run back and forth from house to house, play outside together until the sun goes down, practically spend every waking moment with the neighborhood kids. But what if we sell our home, move, and then have difficult neighbors?? Or neighbors with older kids? Then what? And why don’t realtors profile immediate neighbors when they’re trying to get you to buy a house? After all, neighbors are such an important part of the neighborhood.

Neighborhoods do change. We know that. At this point, we are hoping that within the next three or four years some families with younger kids will move in. We’ve decided to give it until V is five years old. If nothing changes, we are prepared to discuss – more seriously – the idea of moving. In the meantime, we are crossing our fingers.

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