buying a house

the priority shift for families when buying a house

We bought a house!!! I can’t believe that in a few months we’ll be officially homeowners. Buying a house in the Bay Area seemed like an impossible task (both financially and emotionally), but the cards were ever in our favor.

After a little over a month of looking, we saw one that checked all the boxes and made an offer that was accepted pretty quickly. I am repeatedly told that this does NOT happen here. I guess the house was just meant to be. We debated going outside our area, and glad we decided to stick around here.

It’s been such an interesting rollercoaster- mostly emotional- throughout the process. My husband is a very logical, spreadsheet, lists-for-everything kind of person. I, on the other hand, go through the process from a very emotional place. Even when touring houses, that gut feeling was everything. I had moments of buyer’s remorse, the reality of a new layout and space, and overall nervousness about the unknown of buying a house. Alas, we are almost at the finish line.

It’s interesting though when priorities change as you get older. Once you have a family and make the shift, it’s a different feeling. The things I found so important before move down the list. I haven’t stepped in a bar in YEARS, mostly because it takes planning to do that sort of thing now. I’ve also replaced music concerts with playgrounds and late-night drinks with friends with lunch playdates. Would I love to find a place that is walkable with all the fun stuff and also have great schools and the like? Sure. Is it a huge deal-breaker? No. #momlife.

My sister is currently looking for a place of her own. She doesn’t have kids yet and incredibly successful in her career. Her priorities are location and a lifestyle that fits her life now. She is not thinking about schools or playgrounds or backyard space. She’ll get there one day, but for now, it’s all about her. I tell her not to take that for granted.

When we first moved to the Bay Area, we wanted to find a place that was walkable to mass transportation, grocery stores, and restaurants. Our first place was in San Francisco in Noe Valley. The apartment was adorable with amazing landlords. It was also super walkable to Dolores park and a bunch of restaurants. It was a great starter place for us in a new city.

Once I got pregnant, it was immediately clear that the 800 sq. ft. apartment wasn’t going to cut it. So we upped and moved to the Peninsula about a week before our daughter was born. We found a house with an also amazing landlord and a ton of space. Central Park, Caltrain, and downtown are a short 15-minute walk. I’m going to miss that kind of walkability. We traded that in for a backyard and a playground down the street.

Our house is smaller than we’d like but close to what we need. At the end of the street is a playground with monkey bars and swings and the sidewalks are wide enough for bike rides and walks. The living space is bigger, giving us more room to play. I love that we have our own backyard that I can safely send the kids to play while I make dinner. For me, that’s a game-changer.

It’s a new beginning for us. Buying a house gives us the chance to make this house our home to create new memories and expand on existing ones. While I’m not looking forward to the process of moving all of our stuff, I’m excited to start this new chapter. After a year of crazy, depressing, challenging, and emotional storms, it’s good to have some light shining through those rainclouds.