Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Non-Negotiables in House #2

We’ve been owned our house for 11 years and are in no hurry to move (free living is hard to give up) but we also talk about what we want in our next house.  This might be partially brought on from viewings of the various House Hunters and mocking the way buyers are usually portrayed.  They usually have a long list of things they want and a small budget and then, despite claiming to have spent months looking at houses, act shocked when they can’t get all their wish list items, in their desired area, under budget.  Not that the budget really matters, about 90% of the people will ignore their own “we definitely don’t want to go above this number” claim and buy something more expensive but checks all the other boxes.  Either a lot of people are idiots, they only put the idiot episodes on Netflix, or HGTV does a lot of editing and creative maneuvering (which I firmly believe does happen, I know it’s fake).   We talk about how we would definitely be TOTALLY REASONABLE if we were ever on.  (Which we have no plans to try to be, we've just watched enough episodes that it comes up from time to time.)

So despite being rather happy in our current house and loving our neighborhood, we still talk about “our next house” fairly often.  When we bought our house we were 22 and had our budget and some neighborhoods in mind but we weren’t super picky.  Just buying a house was exciting and, besides, we only planned to be here for 5 years or something.  Eleven years later we definitely have more thoughts and more opinions.   Again, NO HURRY to move (people frequently are telling us about houses for sale...it would have to be an INCREDIBLE deal and PERFECT to get us to move right now).

Budget: Since we’ve had our current house paid off we’ve been able to start saving for the next one.  Ideally we’ll be able to pay cash between what we have in savings and the proceeds from selling our current house.  Adoption fees could cut into that but it is the goal.

Neighborhood: We have our boundary streets in mind.  We plan for Luke to go to our parish school and I don’t want a long commute twice a day to get him to school and back.  Ideally 10 minute drive or less.  I go back and forth on if I want to stay in our neighborhood (there are a lot of things we love about it but the lot sizes aren't one...) or a new one that's still close enough to church/school.  We won't be moving far.

4 bedrooms (at least) – that’s the big drawback of our current house.  We could use more bedrooms upstairs.  4 bedrooms all on the same floor.  We also kinda dream of having a guest bedroom even though almost 100% of the guests we have had spend the night (over the age of 5) have been of the "drank too much to drive" variety and they generally aren't picky on sleeping arrangements...

original master in our current house
2 1/2 baths – that’s minimum.  After having one bathroom for the whole house for the last decade we’re pretty set on multiples in the next, including a master bathroom.  Going to the bathroom at 3am without dealing with stairs?  Sounds dreamy.  Everything else would have to be pretty perfect for us to give up the ideal master bath (and by that I mean A master bath, we’re not super picky...although I'd prefer no soaker tub...I am not a bath person AT ALL).

Two car garage - minimum.   Doesn't have to be attached (ours currently is not) but we need indoor space for both cars, bikes, lawn mower, etc.


2500 sq feet max  - We don’t want something huge to furnish and heat/cool or clean.  We’ve gotten used to small house living and have seen many benefits in it.
1/3 acre - preferably closer to 1/2 acre but we would like more yard space.  Luke has been begging for a playhouse and a swing set and things are starting to get a little cramped in our current yard.
Basement – either finished or able to be finished.
Outdated but functional – we want an ugly house that we can gradually fix up.  I dream of doing a kitchen remodel and wouldn’t mind updating a few bathrooms too (I say this as the person who did very little of the last bathroom remodel).  I hate when I see houses on House Hunters that have clearly been recently updated but not in a style I like.  I would much rather buy something out of date and cheaper and then be able to put in all our preferred finishes, even if that means all the work that goes with it (Matt is even on board with this, which means more since he'll likely be doing most of the work).
Room for a piano - I played as a kid and would love to play more now but I just don't see where we have the space for one in our current house (my niece suggested right in front of our front door and then we could just move it every time people came over...a suggestion I don't think is very practical, as secure as that would make our front door.)
original bathroom in our current house
-I'd LOVE some sort of office/studio for my computer and desk as well as my sewing machine and other crafting items, preferably with a lot of natural light and storage possibilities.

-We'd also BOTH really love for Matt to have a dedicated workshop for his woodworking and computer building hobbies (although, probably not in the same space because sawdust isn't too friendly with open computers...).  Right now his tools are split between the basement and the garage and he's really limited to doing woodworking in the nice months since he does most of it in the garage.  That also means a car generally has to be out of the garage so he has room to work.  My LOOOOONG "Matt should build this" list would appreciate him having a dedicated workshop...come to think of it...he might not mind so much not having one....

-A walk-in pantry.  Ahhhhhh...that would be so lovely.

That's it, as of now. =)  We're still (hopefully) years away from moving but all the House Hunters we've watched over the years have gotten some ideas in our heads.  Some days I get excited about a new place, then I start to freak out over ever leaving this house we've loved for so long.  Also, there is the whole thing of moving which REALLY freaks me out.  I'll be looking for lots of tips and ideas when that time comes!  Or maybe someone to just calm me down and tell me it'll all be ok?

Who else starts dreaming about new house possibilities years before they want to move?  Watched a lot of House Hunters?  Have a favorite variation?  I think Matt likes Tiny House Hunters best...I go back and forth between domestic and international, depends on the locations and how annoying/demanding the buyers are...

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