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House Buying - Location Problems

I don't think I realized until having bought a house and now trying to sell it and buy another just how true the "Location Location Location" mantra is!  Here is a terrifying (for me!) comparison of what we have now, versus what we'll get with moving to Central Florida.


North Florida plantation style home

Brazillian Cherry Floors on both levels, Stacked stone fireplace, bar.

So, almost 13 acres of land- most of which is planted pine, with a 2500+ sq ft house built in 2005ish, brazillian cherry hardwood floors throughout, attached 2 car garage, detached storage shed (that matches the house, by the way!), 2 1/2 baths, 3 bedrooms, bar, and breakfast room.


Home in Orlando Subdivision. Paved patio, granite counters
{via Realtor}
Built in 2006, this actually has an Olando zipcode and is listed at exactly what we've listed our house for.  It's 2795 sq ft, 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths.  It has a small (fenced in) back yard area.  $234 in HOAs a quarter, and a smaller attached garage.  A pet peeve of Scott's is that it's forward-facing.  The kitchen looks a bit small, and from the photo of the front, we can't tell exactly how large the front yard of the house is.  The lot size is 6711 sqft.  Since there's an HOA, we would have to check the bylaws about the pet requirements prior to going too much further.

Vero Beach

Home in Vero Beach, Florida.  Tile floors throughout, granite countertops.  Pool and outdoor area with wood-planked ceiling
{via Realtor}
First of all, it bothers me that the picture in the top left is a little off as far as size.  Second, I freaking LOVE this outdoor area, with the ceiling how it is.  The pool's screened in, but there's no outter fence, and since it looks onto a "lake" we may or may not be able to put one up.  It's a little smaller- 2100 sq ft- and listed for a little more thand our listing price.  Built in 2004, it has 3 beds and 3 full baths.  Tile is everywhere, which is great for the pups, but may not do well for my neuroses.  (This post describes my battle with the grout in our current house.)  It does have a  two car garage (with 2 bays!) and is only 1 story.  Not a deal breaker since it'd be easier to cool. It's on just over 1/3 acre, and since it's in a subdivision, I'm positive there are HOA fees.  The pictures make me happy, however given our past experience with looking at houses around here, I'm afraid how actually seeing it would go!


Davenport, FL home with pool, media room. Granite counters, tile and carpent floors
{via Realtor}
Built in 2011, this place is about $15,000 over what we're listing our house at- but it's been on the market for quite sometime.  The lot size is 8080 square feet, and is located west of Orlando.  It's two stories and 3150 sq ft.  5 beds, 3 full baths, and a 3 car (tandem...) garage, with a pool.  No fenced in yard, and tile everywhere with some carpet.  It doesn't look like the bathrooms have granite tops.  It is within a neighborhood that has a community center and gym.  HOAs are $375 a quarter, and of course have to look into the puppies.  Davenport would be super close to Scott's work, but a little further off for me if I got a job in Orlando.  However, it's fairly centrally located to Lakeland (Publix HQ) and Winter Haven (where the State Farm I used to work at is located).  It is still a very short drive to Disney.

I think the hardest part for us is realizing that we (and the pups) are going to have neighbors again, no matter where we go.  Also realize I don't have much knowledge about the particular neighborhoods / area these home are located, which can also make a big difference in the price.  A nice house in a crappy area is a lot more affordable than an older home in a "better" part of!

Linking with Sweet Little Ones!


  1. Wow you have so many great options. I've been watching so much HGTV that I'm slightly jealous of your house-hunting fun. But when we bought our house just over five years ago, I remember how quickly it goes from fun to stress. So in that sense - good luck! It looks like you have great choices!

  2. Heather Hammel6:24:00 AM

    Location is very important. I have saved a few houses I want to look at but then look at their neighborhoods and end up finding out that more than half of them are in really bad neighborhoods and that is a definite deal breaker for me. Before I bought the house I am in right now, I was looking at a house and found out there were HOA fees and then found out that they only allow one dog, so I can't buy a house that has HOA fees. My house is almost ready to be put on the market and I plan to go look at a few houses pretty soon. Another thing I have found is that a lot of houses in the area I am looking at do not have fenced in yards. I can get a fence put up, but I kind of need at least some kind of fence to already be there first.

  3. The fact that all of those are options is amazing.. Good luck choosing the perfect one for you guys!

  4. We've been watching a lot of HGTV as well, and it makes us think that we can do more than we can handle. House hunting's fun- until you get down to where you NEED a place, and you can't find... or afford... the one you want!

  5. We've looked into a few with HOAs and found that it just depends on how the bylaws are drawn up. Some are open to negotiation, some go by the county code. It's just a matter of taking that extra step so you're not blind-sided after it's too late

  6. They all have their perks, and they all also have some down falls! I can't wait to start actively looking with a realtor instead of just perusing the internet!

  7. hillyvanilly8:57:00 AM

    They are all amazing Dorrie! I can't even imagine living in a house like that. You're very lucky to be able to afford such luxury.

  8. It really was a unicorn that we found. We've found some nice houses in the Orlando area as well, but they're all very cookie cutter and not so open. Plus. neighbors. Though 100 miles a day on my car just commuting to work has gotten a little old!

  9. It is so hard to pick location and what aspects are the most important!! Especially when you see an awesome outside area with a pool....all logic is out the window because POOL haha. I am sure you guys are going to find the perfect fit :)

  10. Jordyn Brown7:42:00 PM

    I love the house that y'all are living in now, it's gorgeous! I can't wait to decide what house y'all decide on :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern Stylista

  11. Haha and we could really take or leave the pool. Scott had one growing up, and it was a lot of maintenence. Plus, a saltwater pool would definitely be better for the pups. Since they WILL be in it. Probably more than we would be!

  12. We really need to start looking again! It's all quite overwhelming so I take breaks from the search from time to time. Especially since we can't act on anything we find just yet. And we haven't found anything that has REALLY piqued our interest!


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