Tough Decision :: Moving to the Burbs!

Two things I said in my former life – “I’ll never move to the burbs!” and “I could never stay at home with my kids – are you kidding me?” Yep, you can guess what happened in both cases.

IMG_0990Our family *loved* living in the Heights area of Houston. We lived in the “Woodland Heights” which was minutes away from just about everything. Our little 1920‘s bungalow was just our style.

The neighborhood oozed in history and beautiful architecture.

We had block parties for fun community events like “Lights in the Heights” and “White Linen Nights.” At one point, it took Brandon 5 minutes to commute to work in downtown Houston. Yep, FIVE minutes. I could run at Memorial Park in the morning and be back home in 10 minutes to shower and get ready for work. If traffic was crazy, I could take the back roads to get to the office. Life. Was. Good.

Then, our family grew…and so did our needs. When we had our first child, we were put on waiting lists for a daycare. Waiting lists. The tuition rivaled most private schools tuition. But it was worth every penny. The daycare was amazing, so we never really complained. When child #2 came along, we budgeted for paying for two in daycare. {Paying more for childcare than we did for our mortgage.} But, then our house seemed too small. We considered adding on to our home. We considered moving to a larger home in the area. We debated a lot.

Then, one of us said it, “Maybe we should move to the burbs.” Wait…what did you say?

Just some of the reasons we didn’t want to move – We loved our neighborhood and neighbors. We loved the unique styles of homes. {I didn’t want a “cookie cutter” neighborhood with no trees.} We were able to avoid the crazy Houston traffic {most days}. We loved our church. We loved the home grown restaurants and non-chain options. And some of the local coffee shops even doubled as bars. {Um, hello?!}

But we started really considering it. And one great thing about Houston is all the options of great suburbs to live in – Katy, Sugar Land, Kingwood, Humble, The Woodlands, Clear Lake… We debated home values, resale values, traffic, churches, and schools. I think we quickly took out Clear Lake and The Woodlands because of traffic on 45. {Sorry folks!} I worked at a TV station at the time, and I often chatted with our traffic guy about neighborhoods. He of all people knows about traffic tie-ups, since he talks about it for hours a day on TV. Out of all the “highways” around Houston, which was the least congested? Best travel times?? I noticed it, and he confirmed – 59 North was for the most part the best highway to travel during rush hours.

IMG_0444Once we *saw* the area with our own eyes, the idea of moving felt better. We started visiting neighborhoods and decided on Kingwood.  Wow, that’s pretty far up there, right? Well, it had a lot of what we were looking for. The homes in the area we liked were unique and had a reasonable resale value. The public schools were great. There were huge trees – everywhere. {They do call it the livable forest after all!} And one word…GREENBELTS!  There were hundreds of miles of trails all over the place. And parks and pools too!  Our decision was made and our fates were sealed.

We quickly discovered living in the “burbs” wasn’t so bad after all. The girls and I often take our double running stroller and go “park hopping” on the greenbelts. We visit parks along the trails, noting bunnies and birds along the way. When my kid is sick, I can usually get her in to see her doctor within a few hours. And I don’t have to pay $8 to park my car! For those who need it, the daycare options are amazing too.

When it comes to community, we found a church home that is right in our very own neighborhood. This is actually a benefit we didn’t initially think of. When we went to a larger church near downtown, it was harder to connect. We were even in a life group, but in that group was often people from all over Houston so it was hard to really get together a lot. Now, when I take a new mom dinner, I’m not driving 30 miles to bring it to her. We are all in the same community. My kids will be in Sunday School with the same kids they will be in school with.

Did I also mention that living in Kingwood has given our family the opportunity for one of us to stay home with the kids full time? Yep, this career driven gal is now staying home with the girls – which is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had. {And the hardest adjustment for me, but I think that is a whole other blog post for later!} Every Friday night, Brandon and our 4 year old have a tradition of watching the stars outside. She talks about this all week. We don’t hear the buzz of traffic. We are closer to our families out here. When we want to hit up a new spot in the Heights, or a festival in downtown, we just drive there and do it! NO biggie!

Our little family of four is thriving here. Could we have had all of this in the Heights? In the inner loop of Houston? I think so. As I sit in my house in the burbs, I have learned though… Life is not so much about *where* you live, it’s about how you build your home.

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4 Responses to Tough Decision :: Moving to the Burbs!

  1. Avatar
    Lori July 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    And I may never have met you if you didn’t move to Kingwood! 🙁

  2. Avatar
    Valerie @ Bubbles and Gold July 18, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    You are so right. I NEVER imagined I would live in a suburb. I was a total city girl. Then I met this man, fell in love, had a baby. All I could think was, “where do I want to raise my child?”

    And what do you know? I’m right where I never imagined I would be and I absolutely love it!

  3. Avatar
    Jaclyn Kent October 20, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    Haha I can definitely relate to this! We live in Highland Village right now, but looking at moving to the Briar Forest area. It’s still pretty close to downtown, but it just won’t be the same. Children require some special measures from us mamas. 😉

  4. Avatar
    Danielle January 5, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    We live in the heights and couldn’t be happier. We considered the burbs but with two kids and two working parents the commutes were not an option (and neither of us wants to stay home).

    If the commutes were better we would consider it to have a house with a pool though!

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