Thursday, April 9, 2009

House Hunting: Likes and Dislikes

Factors we’re considering in our house search:

Location: We want a location that is within reasonable distance of where G works, and is close to Minneapolis and Saint Paul. We’re assuming (fingers crossed) that I will eventually end up working somewhere in the metropolitan area and we would much rather have me commute from a more central location than somewhere on the fringe on the metropolitan area. Plus – and I have to admit this came as a bit of a surprise to me – we both like older, established neighborhoods (an older home that has been recently renovated but offers the character you’d find in a pre-1945 home would be perfect for us). They have character and they often offer a strong sense of community. Since we’re planning on growing our family within a few years, we also are paying close attention to school districts and resources the neighborhood will offer for children (schools, parks, libraries, etc.). Sidewalks are also important to me. This point may seem mundane, but I’ve read enough about them and experienced life with and without them to know that I want sidewalks in our neighborhood. We’d also like a home that’s close to public transportation.

We’ve identified at least one ideal neighborhood, but I’m not going to name it here. Apologies!

Price: You don’t have to worry about us committing to mortgage payments that stretch our monthly budget. We try to make economically judicious decisions on a daily basis – we won’t be investing in a home that will give us major financial stress.

Type of Home: I’ve always loved bungalows, and G said he’d like to check some out. We’re open to housing style, but not big fans of most housing styles post-1960s (especially split levels that look like this (although the colonial is okay), this, or this). I’d be thrilled to live in a home resembling one of these. We need at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms. We won’t be flexible on that front. We’re open to minor renovations (I am actually looking forward to them), but not looking to invest time and resources in any immediate major overhauls.

A quick list of things I think it would be terribly difficult to convince me to compromise on:
• Artificial siding
• Evidence of smoking
• An unfinished basement
• A galley kitchen
• Fake shutters (shutters that are/were functional are okay)
• Garages that “eat” the front of the house
• Poor window placement (I know this sounds picky, but it drives me nuts (I blame my father
for this))
• Minimal storage space

We may have found a Realtor. She plays in our band with us (in G's section), but we haven't talked to her about our house hunt yet. We're going to see if we can do some background research on her before we initiate a conversation...

This post isn’t anything that I intended for it to be, but I’m tired. I had to touch those blasted lids again today and I spent most of my time hanging out with second graders. While I loved working with them, it was exhausting. I didn’t know double digit subtraction could be so tiring.

At least I stuck to my promise to post about our house search on Thursdays, right? Right. Next week will be better. I hope. Anything you want to know about? Anonymous suggestions are appreciated.

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