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We need a bigger house, but not a bigger price tag

Stephanie G. Johnson

The Bulletin

My house is shrinking by the day.

When we bought it, there was room for everything.

Now, the rooms are smaller, and there are not enough of them because there is a toddler in the house, and I work from home now.

It’s time to go house shopping.

Without kids, house shopping is completely different.

When we purchased our first house, we didn’t care about any extras. Now, with a family, that’s all we talk about - extra this and extra that.

We bought a beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house, and it was perfect for us.

It’s not big on square footage, and we built it as new construction, so we picked out all the details.

I can tell you what padding we put under the carpet, what grout color we picked for our backsplash. It was a fun experience.

Now, we are not that picky about the backsplash, but other concerns have risen.

I need an office. I did have an office in this house all to myself - for a while.

Once we had a baby, the guest bedroom became the baby’s room, and my office became the guest room/playroom/office.

Basically, I have a tiny desk in the corner, a pull-out couch and kid toys everywhere. My space keeps getting smaller and smaller. One baby toy frequently decides to make a noise when I’m on a business call.

When we have guests stay over, I have no office. That became a problem. So, I found the smallest desk I could find and put it in the corner of my bedroom. It is side by side with my nightstand. Problem fixed - sort of. But it’s not a real office, more like a bedroom with a small desk in it.

My dream is to have my own office, gain back my guest bedroom, and have a play area so that I don’t have a tiny trampoline in my bedroom/office.

We want to expand our family and plan for the future, while also moving closer to family.

So, I don’t care about what brand the carpet padding is anymore.

This new home must have the following: a playroom/gameroom - I am tired of toys being everywhere, including a small toy kitchen in my living room/dining room;

An office space so that I can work there and am not forced into a small bedroom corner; and

A good living/dining space area - right now we have an open-concept home that is shotgun style, and I don’t really have any specific rooms.

Before having a baby, my only conditions amounted to: Does it have a bathroom and a couple of bedrooms? SOLD!

Sometimes, we didn’t even go to the other side of the house. The second bathroom was never used by us, and it felt like wasted space with just the two of us. That is not the case anymore! Now we have a toddler, a dog and two cats.

It’s a great time to sell our home, but it is also an awful time to buy a home. I’m not sure if I should consider us lucky or doomed - probably both.

It’s crazy how things can change in a span of five years, how families can grow and how space can feel like it’s shrinking. This house felt like a mansion before we started a family.

If Steve Jobs can start a successful company in his garage, then I should be just fine for a little while more at one of my corner desks. But, he also didn’t have a wild toddler running around his garage, jumping on his back, demanding piggyback rides while he was working.

The piggyback rides are cool, though. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. There are advantages to working at home.

Break time. “Mommy, I want a piggyback ride.” O.K., here we go, from a bedroom office to the guest room/ toy room/office - or whatever we call this room. Hold on, partner.

Soon, we’ll be galloping into our new home, hopefully, and I’ll be writing these columns in my dedicated office. I can’t wait.

(Please send emails to Stephanie at, or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)


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