House hunt

We looked through three more houses this past week. We feel like we are bursting at the seams in this house and it is time to move on! Our definite must-haves are: garage, 4 bedrooms, office, and family room. Our wants are: good location for at least one of the three schools, 2.5-3 bathrooms, parking for our trailer and vehicles, great natural lighting. We looked at one this week that would totally work...it has 4 bedrooms and an office, it is in a great location (you can see the middle school), it has 3 bathrooms, a large family room, a private low-maintenance backyard with a garden space and a double garage. It is needing new flooring, paint and a kitchen, which is all do-able. My worry is that it's only 2100 sq. ft which is exactly what we have now. It isn't large and every square foot would be used. I don't mind not having extra space but I also don't want to feel like we're crammed in there. Moving is such a chore that I don't want to move again any time soon and want to be in this place til our kids leave home. We may need to go back for a second viewing of that one with another set of eyes to give us their opinion. Then we went to see another house that I absolutely LOVED. It was already redone with new carpet, vinyl plank, paint, white kitchen, tiles, skylights etc. I walked in and was ready to move in. It was set up really strange though, with no office, and no wiggle room to fit one in. It had lots of space in the basement bathroom and laundry room but not a large family room. It had a bedroom right off the kitchen which would be difficult for the noise factor. It had a tiny undeveloped yard with little privacy. No matter how hard I tried, we couldn't figure out how to make the layout work without adding a large/expensive reno. So sad. I loved it. We were looking at it on a grey rainy day, and in the huge vaulted living room with skylights, there was no need for lights. It was so bright. It did make me think that I could finish that other house to look like the one I love, but it doesn't have the same vaulted ceiling and is a little smaller. Our realtor says we should love it. But part of me thinks, it's a practical choice and with new paint/flooring/kitchen...it would be so much more attractive. So I'm laying awake thinking of what to do. I am reluctant to spend $100,000 more to build a house exactly the way we want it. I can't really justify that kind of spending just to get the perfect house. I think I'd rather put the money into travel and fun, and not worry about the kids ruining my perfect house, and enjoy making an older house look better than it was. It was so rewarding in our current house to update the old kitchen, to put in a beautiful door, fan and light fixture and appliances, to remove wallpaper and fix up my bedroom, to replace the closet doors, to add a suntunnel in the dark bathroom, to replace our living room windows, new gutters, to replace the rotten deck and do many yard updates. The sad part of our house is that it has such a long list of things that still need doing and we aren't talented enough to do entire bathroom renos etc. It can be a joy for another family to finish! Anyway...hoping we find one soon, or can decide on whether we should make that one work. I like the idea of having only enough house for what we need, without having to spend hours cleaning/fixing a large one. We'll keep you posted, and any feedback is welcome!!

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