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Thread: Raising kids. Acreage vs Suburbia

  1. #1
    Fire Fly Guest

    Default Raising kids. Acreage vs Suburbia

    Im in a bit of a dellema. We currently live on 60 acres in a shed. We have no neighbours (that you can see anyway), we are half hour from the main town, a school is just down the rd, theres a servo about 3km up the rd. We have a horse, 2 dogs and a cat.

    My dellema is. We had our property up for sale for 12 months with rediculous offers, so we decided to take it off the market because we looked at what we had to offer the kids here as opposed to a suburban block (thats what we would move to, not by choice).



    We have all the room for more horses, in case DD wants a pony (which she is asking for now), DS will want a motorbike like dad im sure, we have room for chooks, room for a big cubby for the kids. Pretty much anything we want really.....whats the prob then i hear you ask????.
    Well... we arent close to town, we dont have a house, we dont have lots of money so getting things takes a long time. Do you think our kids would be better in a suburban bloke thats close to everything or here where the lifestyle is great and they can bash around on whatever they chose.

    What would you chose if you had the choice, Rat race or not.???????

  2. #2

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    Hi Kerrie. I live in the rate race of suburbia and would pick acreage any day, though I don't have kids yet so I'm not sure on what the differences would be. I think as long as your kids can go to school with other kids then they would be just fine. But if it's a financial decision as well then that's tough one.

    I can think of nothing better than having all the privacy in the world and such a tranquil lifestyle. Sure it's great knowing that everything is close by in suburbia, but honestly I avoid shops when I can and do most day-to-day stuff over the net like paying bills/managing finances/chatting to you guys

  3. #3

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    my DH grew up in that situation, FireFly.

    He loved it. Sure, it was rough living out of town so it was hard for friends to visit. It was rough living in a shed without walls, but his mother would rearrange the furniture that formed the walls occasionally so that not only were the rooms rearranged, the location of the rooms would change, too.

    Eventually he kept fit by riding 16km into town on his push bike for work, TAFE, and anything he wanted to do. He loved being able to run around outside with the dog, and just generally having the space to do his own thing.

    I don't think it's a lifestyle for everyone - I don't think I could handle it, but maybe you could wait a few years until your children are old enough to put forward an opinion before you move?

    BW

  4. #4

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    My father lives on 40 acres in QLD and they have a fantastic lifestyle. He's a school teacher and it's taken them ages to fix up their house and stuff, but I think they have THE BEST lifetsyle/ They have a few horses and bikes, and they do lots of regional sports. I would pick an acreage any day of the week.

  5. #5

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    DH lived about 70k from the city on a property that was boat access only. A hike and a tin-boat ride to school......

    He looks back on it with joy, and I know he and his siblings wouldn't have traded it for anything. We all love going to his parents: it is an idylic spot, totally inconvenient, huge steep hill, no roads, water access only, but blissfull.

    Not sure if that helps?

  6. #6
    ~Krys~ Guest

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    My husband and I just recently had this discussion as we are on the move. Ideally we would like to have moved about 40 minutes from the city on a few acres but alas $$ prohibited it, so we are moving from our almost 800sqm block 10 minutes from the city to a 1.4 acre that is 15 minutes further out.

    Guess living in a smaller city it is a little easier. Eventually we would like to move a bit further from the city or even better to a country town, but will wait till DH has his business sorted and the $$ will allow it (and have finished having kids because I love my hospital).

    Krys

  7. #7

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    DH and I are hoping to move to somewhere with room for a pony in a few years. I grew up on a property and the memories I have of my childhood are wonderful. We had horses and chooks and swam in the creeek - I would love it if my children could have similar memories.
    I don't think that suburbia offers any advantages over acerage. The only thing I would miss is having a cafe on my doorstep but a good coffee machine would make up for that.

  8. #8

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    I think is sounds wonderful and I think your kids will love it!! I would love to make a move like that but am hesistant to because I must say I like the convenience of having everything close by. But from a lifestyle perspective and for the kids I would love it. I think more kids these days need to connect more with nature... I think the only times kids wouldn't like it is when they're teenagers and want to see friends and get into mischief....

    Enough of my rant...

  9. #9

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    Personally I like being in the city (even if it *is* Adelaide, which isn't a city to a lot of people ) but I think it sounds like your place is great for the kids!

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    i live in a long skinny unit where you hear your neighbours air/con, their douff douff music and their barking dogs. (I desire noise cancelling headphones something chronic!!!!) The front yard is so close to the footpath and hoons that use our street as a race track. The back yard is tiny and not enough room to set up play equipment or kick a ball. We are 20mins walk from public transport. 10mins from city centre by car. It is good to be close to hospitals for the "just in case" scenarios.

    I would choose acreage. But being a city girl, i would want hot water, reliable power. Not so sure i could live in a shed. I would also need a reliable car and good internet access. As long as we were healthy and getting our daily needs met, able to get kids to medical appointments, sport and school, i suppose you would "make" it work. I mean, bottom line, are you happy where you are? are the kids happy? would they have to give up their horses if you moved?

    It does sound idyllic, to be able to send the kids outside to razz around, explore, make up their own games, swim in creeks, ride horses etc. Something i only read about in books.

    I do have fantasies of moving up to northern NSW and building a strawbale home (just quietly).

  11. #11

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    A lot of people already know my thoughts about it, but I would not live in the city if you paid me. I cannot think of a better place to raise kids than in the country. We live 30 mins from the nearest big town where Lindsay travels to school each day, and we love it. Fair enough that this is all I have known, and if I had spent all my life in the city, I would probably say that is the best place.

    I agree that having limited services at your finger tips is a hassle sometimes, but you get used to it. I honestly think that if you moved, your kids would feel stiffled because they have lost that space to move around and do their own thing IYKWIM?

    Sure you may not live in a mansion, but if it is working and your family is happy, then why change?

  12. #12

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    I think its personal choice. We did both when I was a kid. I loved living on our block. I had so much space to do what i wanted (except the pony thing, my parents wouldn't let me). we lived there for 5 years and it was great. Before that we were in the suburbs and I loved that as well, as we had kids that lived next door that were the same age as us and we all got along great. Then when we moved back to suburbia i was a bit older, which was also good for me because i had more freedom. could walk to the the shops and do my own thing.

    I will always remember when we were living in suburbia though one of my friends was living on a farm and for years they lived in a shed and I was jealous! I wanted to live in a shed! Its such a great story to tell when your older. not many people these days have that experience!

  13. #13
    Kirsty77 Guest

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    I lived in both. I was born in Auckland and we moved and lived in bris vegas for years before making the change to country life. My parents did it to give us a slower paced lifestyle. On the other hand Corey is a born and bred gold coast boy that is just drawn to the city. But we've decided for our kids that we are going to stay in the country as we're about to purchase some acreage out of the town. For us being able to make as much noise as you want, walk around nude if you want(LOL!) and for the kids to do whatever they want without worrying about people snatching them or like the latest scare, rat poison on playgrounds. To us country life sounds perfect, that is for now. When the kids are teenagers we may move to the city.

  14. #14

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    LOL Fletch, I'd still consider it the rat race because there is still traffic everywhere you go (even on my short drive to work each day), we live on top of one another on small blocks, the shops are absolutely packed, and there's no real privacy even in anyone's backyard I'd prefer somewhere like Silverdale - wide open spaces

  15. #15
    Fire Fly Guest

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    It appears the majority of you would prefer acreage to suburbia, i dont know why but im a bit surprised with that.
    Maybe the convenience of being near town would outway the lifestyle so to speak.

    My kids are happy here, but this all they no so as far as their concerned this in home, kwim. I grew up on acreage but DH didnt. Our plan after buying our first home was always to end up on acreage so we are were we want to be. Its just the house issue that annoys us both now, and especially since now the kids are here i think we just want whats best for them. We have lived here for 6 years now and when we first bought it it had nothing on it at all. Now it has paddocks fenced, cleared areas, and a shed we built ourselves.
    If we did decide to sell id be sad at leaving what we put together ourselves and also the kids have their hand prints drawn on the edge of the shower wall so that couldnt come with us and DD heights are on a door jam (bathroom, only door in the place, lol) so that couldnt come with us either.
    I keep looking at things like that and imagine how hard it would be to leave that, as small as it is its something special to me.
    The other thing that worries me a bit about selling it that we would NEVER get this back again, we would never be able to afford it. I dont even know that we would be able to afford acreage again and that scares me as thats what we have always wanted.

    Being close to town though would be better for us financially as it takes DH 1hr 20 to get to work, the shops and everything else would be closer, just everything in general, family to would be closer. The cost of living is really takeing its toll on us, especially with only one wage comeing in. But in saying that, thats how we chose it to be because neither of us wants anyone else to look after our kids. Its hard. I will eventually go back to work when kids are at school but thats another 5 yrs away and DH said that he doesnt want me to go back fulltime again, which suits me.

    MONEY.MONEY. MONEY, its always comes back to damn money! :mad:

    We have recently bought timber to put walls up to make bedrooms for us all plus we plan on putting windows in so we can see out. Im looking forward to that.

    I should add the advantages of living here apart from the serenity. Dd can play as many tea partys as she likes inside, she can play hopscotch inside because half is a workshop so she can draw on the floor with chalk, she can ride her bike around the whole shed so when its raining she can still ride around, doesnt matter if something is spilt on the floor because its crappy carpet anyway. Think thats it.

    Murphys Law hey. You always want what you cant have.[/

  16. #16

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    Kerrie - It sounds like you have heaps of really great reasons to stay. I'm sure the kids won't be bothered and by the time they're old enough you may be in a very different situation.

    Remember, what kids need most is love, a full tummy and a roof over the heads. It sounds like your kids have this and a whole heap more!!!

    Heaps of kids have way too much stuff these days and your kids will grow up knowing about the outdoors and the environment and have a whole lot of life experience.

    Good luck!

  17. #17

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    Kerrie, I mentioned earlier DH's situation......I should add that his families situation was down to $$ too. They had lived on a surbarban block, and their rural block had been bought for a "weekender" but when $$ got tight, one property had to go........and they ended up, after much soul searching, on the rural /water access only block, in a one roomed shack (MIL, FIL, DH and his 2 siblings, he was the eldest at age 4!). They lived like this for YEARS as FIL gradually, very gradually, built a house around the shack.

    I have seen photos of the 30 years that they have all lived there, and without question, they all look so happy, and DH (and his siblings, who I am quite close to) all reflect on what a perfect, different, but fantastic childhood they had.

    They now, as adults, all look back on it all, including the chaos and the relative inconveniece, with beautiful memories, and talk about it with so much joy. They all also comment that their lifestyle made them very self sufficient........

    Not sure if that helps any?

  18. #18
    Fire Fly Guest

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    Thanks Lucy, its food for thought as they say. I know my kids dont know any different at the moment and will love whatever surroundings we put them in, it plays on my mind that we dont have a proper house to give them with proper bedrooms. The shed is certainly not glamarous, even though we have carpet on the section that we live in it still is quiet dirty because of the dirt driveway. And the roof isnt insulated so its damn noisy when it rains or if its windy.
    We still have all the mod cons though like Foxtel and Internet, hot water etc etc. They do have full tummys and a warm bed to get into every night but there parents are at a loss as to whats good for them.

    I was so stressed and i had to get out of here when it was on the market, but now that we are giving it a break Dd and I have been out makeing gardens and putting vegie seeds in. When we do that together i think how lucky we are to have what we have, i know DD loves it here. She will one day get that pony when she can look after it herself and im sure DS will appreciate having his own bike track down the back.

    Theres just always the what if senario.

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