Well--we've decided on our middle house.
Erik's grandparents have a beautiful "luxury townhome" that they've wanted to sell us ever since they learned that we were selling our house. I didn't want to buy it for many reasons--number one being that although it has a very nice sized patio, it has no yard. Also, there is the issue of the one shared wall. But, after much searching--both in my heart and with a realtor, I've come around to it. And like I said, chances are, it will be our middle house. We'll catch our breath from the chaos of the last few years for a bit, then move on to the official long-term Jorgensen abode.
Ultimately, my decision was based on the following:
Price: They're selling it to us at a price significantly under market. We'll have tons of instant equity.
Ease: We can move in whenever we want (aka, in 2 weeks), and live rent free until our financing stuff is sorted out.
Stuff: Speaking of stuff....Did I mention that they're leaving a gorgeous brand new dining room set and bedroom set?
Quality: This place is built so, so well. I've had a builder friend of mine checking out some of the houses to be considered, and he was blown away by this one. It is solid as a rock, and brand new (well, lived in one day a week for the past year by a 70 year old man), and the cabinets, appliances, and finish work are amazing. We're talking granite counter tops, porcelain tubs, etc., etc.
Sound like I'm trying to convince myself of something? I am, a little.
Jimmy dog is a concern. Although he is an inside dog, he is used to a yard. I'm worried that in no time, the patio will smell like dog piss and shit, no matter how vigilant I am with clean up. I'm also worried about him barking and pissing off the (mostly rich and old) neighbors.
Also, even with lots of shared lawn in the development and gorgeous parks in walking distance, part of me feels like I'll be depriving Sophie of her childhood by not providing her with a swing set and grass to run on.
I'm tired of running laps in my brain over it though, and am feeling reasonably ok with my decision.
It's the first official day of summer vacation. I had hoped to pawn Soph off on someone and start getting ready to move, but instead, I have 6 kids on the premesis--5 of whom are not mine. B came by, with BOTH brothers, and then Soph's friend's mom called with some violent stomach bug and asked me to take her 2 girls. I went and bought some of that Crayola sidewalk paint, though, and they're all pretty busy painting the back patio. I've managed to accomplish a bit, and hopefully now have a couple of favors to call in when it gets closer to moving day.
p.s. I'm dispensing with the best and worst thing about being a mom. We've both kind of grown out of it.
p.s.s. Any advice anyone could give on big dogs in small spaces and/or making the most of a patio is officially solicited.