We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Another move opportunity

You all were terribly helpful the last time we were considering a move, so I’m taking a break from the Dahab travelogue to get your input.

We have the opportunity to move within our community. Our current place is fine, nicely finished if not exactly our style, but we have no outside space except for a little grassy postage stamp that even the puppy finds boring. My employer owns a few buildings in our neighborhood that have some outdoor space along with some other perks like free internet and bike storage (both of which we’d love to have). We also feel a bit isolated from the rest of our expat community here, so moving into one of these buildings would be way to connect with folks more easily.

So, there are two buildings we’ve had in mind. One that might be open, but isn’t right now, is further from the boys’ current school and Giggle’s fall school. It’s not a great location for the market either. But the apartments are nice, the yard is gigantic (the building sits on a double lot and the outside space includes lots of lawn and a playground), and there are tons of kids in the building. We know and like some of the families there. To get to both boys’ school, we’d have a walk of about 15-20 minutes through a busy-ish traffic area. I’d also have a similar walk to get to my shuttle bus for the work commute. An apartment might open soon, but this has not been confirmed.

The building we can definitely move into is right next to Giggle’s school, where he’ll start in August, and right at a stop for my work shuttle bus. The outside space is much smaller, though still a huge improvement from what we have now, with some swings and sandbox; the other end of the long and narrow yard has an outside grill. It’d be a very comfortable place to sit outside when the weather is right. Rumor is that these apartments are also bigger and nicer than the ones in the other building. The location is very convenient for shopping and most everything we do, much better than our current place and the other building. I don’t know that many families in the building, but there are kids, and the people I know I like.

Both yards are nicely maintained and landscaped and particularly nice right now with a lot of flowers in bloom.

We could stay put, of course, though Mr. Four and I would both really like to have at least some outside space, so the move would probably be worth it in either case (and I should note that while we’d have to pack our stuff, my employer would coordinate the move).

So, should we go for choice A, with a giant yard, pack of little boys, and a worse location, or choice B, with a great location, smallish yard, and bigger apartment? Complicating this decision is the immediate availability of choice B (we’d move in a month or so, but could confirm it all now).

Mr. Four is leaning one way and I am leaning another. What would you do? And what do you think we should do?


29 April 2008 - Posted by | our life in egypt


  1. I guess I’d vote for option B–since you could still visit your friends in location A, especially if B is still an improvement yard-wise over where you are now. You are very lucky you don’t have to do the yard maintenance–I hate that part! 🙂

    Comment by Kirstin | 29 April 2008

  2. Off the top of my head I’m voting for Choice B – no contest. The negatives, if any, are minor and are easily dismissed by what sounds like less travel time in the AM. Who needs more stress in the morning?

    A pack of little boys?? Yikes! I have a new neighbor with 3 boys under 10, they nice boys but….

    Comment by mom | 29 April 2008

  3. I would vote for Choice B, too. Walking through the busy traffic area for Choice A sounds potentially stressful and everything about Choice B sounds good.

    Comment by Lenore | 29 April 2008

  4. I vote for Choice B also. Having just moved from a place that had not-great access to shops/supermarkets, I think that is a very important factor. It is really nice in our new place to be able to just pop down to the store for something if I need it.

    Also I think having the shuttle bus right near you is a really big perk that will make your life feel much less stressful, and will let you spend more time every day with your kids, or at least give you 15 extra minutes of sleep in the morning!

    Not to mention that from your description, I think Choice B is closer to our place, another plus from my point of view!! The outdoor stuff at Choice A sounds nice, but you already have your club, plus Giggle’s new school, plus the park where the baseball teams play. So you don’t really need a huge playground at home — not to say it wouldn’t be nice though!

    Comment by cindy | 30 April 2008

  5. I would go for choice B for sure! It sounds as though there are many more good things about this choice than the other.

    Comment by Cindy | 30 April 2008

  6. I say the shorter commute each day far outweighs a bigger yard. Plus, when Giggle starts school, he’ll probably find a lot of friends right around the corner from you then.

    I’m always for getting a decision made – and having the fact that Option B is available would sway me over the *possibility* of Option A.

    Comment by Julie | 30 April 2008

  7. Choice B. It seems to be a clearly better choice! Location, still a slightly larger yard, these things are important. And it’s available!

    Good luck with the move 🙂

    Comment by Candace | 30 April 2008

  8. I’ll be the odd man out – I’d go with A. But that may be from a personal perspective – we’ve got three dogs, a little boy, and not much yard, so I’d jump at a yard. And, I think already knowing and liking the people in your building is a huge plus. On the other hand, I don’t have any concept of a commute through a busy area. Either way, it sounds like you haven’t lost anything.

    Comment by Wendy | 30 April 2008

  9. Location, location, location — Choice B would make your daily life simpler, which I think is very important. Also, a bigger living space seems more critical than a bigger yard, since generally you’ll be inside more than out.

    Did you set this up to swing the vote to your preference? Choice B seems to be a clear winner among your commenters… are there unnamed advantages to Choice A that Mr. Four would mention? (Not that I’m accusing you of biased reporting! Well, maybe just a little…) 😉

    Comment by Monica | 30 April 2008

  10. B seems like a winner. Especially if Mr Four continues working, it would be mighty handy to drop Giggle off and step outside to the shuttle stop. A sounds good, but really, B sounds like a big improvement, and it’s available sooner.

    Comment by Paige | 30 April 2008

  11. I’d have to say that I’m with most everyone else, I think I’d go for B. Anything to make mornings easier, — does the 15 – 20 minutes factor in dwadle time? We live about 8 minutes walking from our son’s school, but we’ve never made it home that fast (and we don’t even try in the mornings!)

    And at a certain point, it won’t matter how big your yard is, as long as you’ve got one that you like. And the whole bird in a hand thing with the availability. Unless, of course, as Monica suggested that there’s something we don’t know? 🙂

    Comment by Your sister | 30 April 2008

  12. Mr. Four says, “Yes, this is biased. I feel that the big yard is important to the well-being of our children and thus important to us. The yard is a large green space which is worth more than gold in Cairo. Large enough that the boys can ride their backs, something that is unavailable to them now. And, the apartment building is filled with 5 year olds.”

    It’s worth noting that Mr. Four hasn’t actually seen the yard at Choice B. Heh, maybe all this will get the man to start reading my blog again.

    Thank you for all the comments! Maybe I’ll drag Mr. Four by Choice B today.

    Comment by Ms. Four | 1 May 2008

  13. I’d have to agree with Mr. Four. I don’t have kids, so I don’t know what a 15-20 minute walk every morning with them would look like, but I think it could be interesting to hear their questions as you make the journey to school (again, maybe I’m just naive here). The yard alone would sell place A for us – especially living in a crowded city like Cairo. But either way, it sounds like you have two great options. Good luck!

    Comment by Matt | 1 May 2008

  14. No question – B.

    Comment by Aussie | 1 May 2008

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  16. […] May 2008 I just learned some great news: the Four family will be moving to a ground-floor flat at Choice B. This is the building with a small yard and a great location. I had heard the ground-floor […]

    Pingback by On the move « We Four in Egypt | 27 May 2008

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