After nearly three years back in my hometown, we are looking to put down more permanent roots. In the past three years, my husband has launched and grown his business and my oldest is in his second year of elementary school. I started freelancing on the side and we even added a fourth kid into the mix.
Though we have really grown to love Gainesville, Georgia, (especially that I’m no longer a moody teenager wanting to experience big college life—hello UGA!), it’s a bit intimidating to put down roots. Not because we don’t want to call Gainesville home, but because we’re self-employed. Of course, I freelance part-time and can do that from anywhere. But my husband leases space near downtown Gainesville. And as great as his business is doing right now, certain changes in the economy or to his customer base could cause big ripples for our family. We want to happily focus on only the uphill climb for his small business, but we’d be remiss if we assumed there would be no plateauing or downhill sloping in our future. This is the life of a small business owner, but in a broader spectrum, this is simply adulting.
So with this in mind, it begs the question: Where do we go from here?
The way I see it, I am pulled three different directions. City. Suburbs. Country.
For my non-local readers, don’t misunderstand when I say city. I no longer live in Atlanta. Gainesville city (according to the 2017 census), has 40,000+ residents, whereas the greater Hall County has nearly 200,000 residents.
We currently live in the city limits, but I grew up in the county suburbs. I also have friends who live on land in the country and love it. In a nutshell, I can see the advantages of each option. That means that nearly every day, I lean toward a different option.
One day, I want to live in the city because of the proximity to everything (friends included) and because my boys really love their elementary school.
One day, I want to live in the suburbs so we can afford a house with enough bedrooms to fit all these kids of ours and be surrounded by a community with kids the same age.
One day, I want to scrap it all and live farther out in the country on a few acres, so my boys can roam free and so we can all be outside by just stepping out the front door.
So here’s my thought process when it come to pros and cons for each:
- Close to everything: We typically drive in a 5-mile radius to get to everything we need (grocery store, church, preschool, elementary school, gym, parks, etc.).
- Lots of older houses with character
- Lots of ranch houses (our preferred house layout)
- Lots of older homes that may need a lot of work to update
- Typically smaller lots
- Higher price per square foot on average
- Bigger house for the money
- Lot sizes are typically larger
- More neighborhood options vs small city streets
- Better chance of living near people at same stage of life
- 10-15 minute drive to town
- Land for my boys to roam
- More space means more room to add on if needed
- Historically older, smaller homes
- 25+ minute drive to town
Regardless of where we end up (2 months from now or 12 months from now), I’m determined to love where we live. And I truly think we will because family makes a house a home.
So my question to you is: what makes you love where you live? I’d love to know as we begin the process of putting down roots.