Changes on the Horizon

by Heligirl on June 29, 2010

in Daily Ramblings

I think we’re going to need to make a change. A huge, vast, incredible, scary change. I don’t like it one bit, but I know it’s for the best.

I’m talking about moving. All the practical signs are there: house is getting too small with two more growing people in it, busy street is not safe for kids, and the school district just got FAR less desirable thanks to the district’s new rule that you can now only attend your designated neighborhood school (which for me means all the illegal aliens protected in Seattle who don’t speak English and the residents of the seedy neighborhood east of us full of crime and gang activity now go to our schools).

That last one pushed me over the edge. Talking to my neighbor who is treasurer for the elementary school PTA, I learned that test scores are way down, classes are behind because teachers are trying to deal with difficult students and those that don’t speak the language, and they’re cutting music class and the school counselor who works with the difficult students due to money. It’s time to leave. And with interest rates so low, we need to seriously consider our options.

But emotionally it’s so very hard. I chose my house all by myself and bought it with my own money. Together hubby and I added on to it with his condo sale equity. We got pregnant in that house. We brought the kids home from the hospital to that house. It’s all the kids have known. I have close friends in the neighborhood and we love the co-op preschools. The kids are enrolled in co-op here next year. I have childcare in the area that I trust. I love being 15 minutes from downtown.

I so wish there was an easy answer. We can add to the house again, but we can’t fix the schools and we can’t afford private school. I’m not willing to let my kids’ schooling suffer. We have to move.

We’re seeing larger houses in better school districts almost 45 minutes southeast of us now. The commute to work would be about 10 to 15 minutes longer. I’d have to find new childcare. I’d have to find new preschool options. Oh the WORK involved.

That’s not to mention the massive undertaking of whipping our house and yard into shape to sell. We’ll have to pack up lots of stuff and get a storage unit to help make the place look less cluttered, plant flowers (I’ve neglected that this year), put in beauty bark, and the mother of all pains in the ass – every single fricking time I walk out the door I’ll have to leave the house looking perfect for potential home buyers. What a serious pain in the gozotch with little kids.

Work and emotional attachments aside, in the end I know we have to do this. We must get ourselves into a place where I feel comfortable with the kids’ safety and education. Whether we decide to do it this summer, or put it off another year or so, I’ll need to push the button before Sweetness enters kindergarten in 2012.

For now, we’re researching neighborhoods, visiting other communities on weekends, looking at houses in neighborhoods with school districts we like, talking to friends and coworkers who live in areas we’re considering, and just saving our pennies. My hope is the reality will sink in, I’ll find something that feels right, and I’ll be able to find the energy to say goodbye to the best chapter of my life so far – the one where I got to move home to Seattle, buy my own Seattle address, find a wonderful man, marry and have my two beautiful children.

{ 11 comments }

Stacie June 29, 2010 at 9:43 am

Oh hun, my heart goes out to you. What a hard decision to make!! I completely understand why this would be a hard decision for you. At the same time, you’re having to focus on the best situation for your children. (Which, with what you described here, I would be concerned too!) Sending hugs and prayers your way during this!

The Bipolar Diva June 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

It’s so hard to leave your home, but your reasons pretty much mandate it. I miss Seattle, Kirkland, Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish…., oh and Pike Place 🙂
We lived in Redmond, Issaquah and Federal Way. I think my favorite was Issaquah.
There are some awesome places around the Sound.
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Kris June 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Such a strange coincidence. We meet with our agent tomorrow. We are moving to the Eastside. I LOVE West Seattle but the school system sucks, houses are too small and close together. Plus all 4 grandparents and work are over there – so it only makes sense.

I would love to talk to you more as I am in the middle of a ton of school and neighborhood research. I was born and raised in Bothell and know it quite well but I’m not up to speed on the latest stats….
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JennyB June 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

What a heart-wrenching thing to do. I hope you find what you need and maybe some magic will happen where you can stay in West Seattle, but near a better school option. West Seattle would miss you!

Angela June 29, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Sorry to hear about this Jen! We are actually considering the same thing, as our “neighborhood school” is one of the worst in the city and state! If we can, we’d like to stay in West Seattle, just move to one of the neighborhoods with better schools, but my husband just got a job on the Eastside- so his commute may play a factor. We’ll need to wait a few years as we bought our house at the peak of the market and wouldn’t make much if we sell now. Good luck in your research!

Katie June 30, 2010 at 5:06 am

Oh good luck with your move! I had the same feelings about moving and the whole “this is our first house, where we brought our babies home, our first real yard”, but the place where we are now feels even more like home because the kids have made wonderful friends, my parents live down the street, and we so happy here. It’s scary, but also a brand new adventure with memories waiting to be made. Hope everything works out! : )
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Momma Drama June 30, 2010 at 9:40 am

It is a hard thing to do! It’s so overwhelming to move – we just got done with it… We didn’t have to sell a house though, I’m sure that adds a whole other level of stress to the situation.

Kuddos to you for moving for your children’s education. That was a big part of our decision on where we were going to move to. It really does affect them for the rest of their lives.

I’ll be hoping you find the perfect house in the best school district!!
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Pamela June 30, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Oh wow, your neighborhood really does sound like the one I just left behind. You’re right, it’s very stressful to find a place you like, not to mention all the packing, and unpacking everything you own. But, once you settle into a good neighborhood and have that peace of mind that you’ve done the right thing for your kids it’ll all be worth it:)
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Happy Momma June 30, 2010 at 10:32 pm

How interesting that moving and all the emotions connected to it are the topic of your post. It was not more than two days ago I was watching my little one crawl down the hall as I listened to the laughter of my older one and thought to myself what wonderful memories are being made in this house. Though we are not moving soon, I have always known this was not our life long home. However, when first buying this house I did not understand just how much a house becomes a home once you bring those little bundles of joy through the door. I know everything will work out for you and in the right time.

jade July 1, 2010 at 7:46 pm

oh nooo, I’m so sorry you have to move from your wonderful home!! Do you guys have Charter schools up there? My public school sounded much like yours, but I found a charter I love!!
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Heligirl
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July 2, 2010 at 7:30 am

Thanks Jade. We don’t have charter schools. It’s really hit and miss. Newsweek just put four schools in our Bellevue School District on their top list and that neighborhood (which was already expensive) suddenly rebounded so we can’t even get within sniffing distance of property there without a rich relative taking pity on us. My mom did just move there, so in a pinch…

Thanks for the support. After running lots of numbers it’s looking like we’ll have to stay put for a little longer, but we’ll definitely need to move at some point. 🙁
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