Monday, July 9, 2012

House Hunting

We are actively looking for a house...finally.  And it can't come soon enough, because living with my parents is a trip.  Not the Hawaii kind of trip, think the Green Mile.  So we went out the first time and looked at a couple of houses and saw 3 that we really liked.  We're going out more today and tomorrow and once again on the weekend, if our doucher of a realtor isn't booked up.

I have a few "non-negotiables" in a house:

  • A backyard big enough for a pool
  • A basement (it doesn't have to be finished)
  • Lots of natural light
  • A modern kitchen (I don't mind doing some cosmetic work to a kitchen down the line, but I'm not planning on dropping 20K on an entire kitchen renovation
  • 3 bedrooms
Then I have some "negotiables".  Things that I'd like to have but wouldn't rule a house out if it didn't have them:
  • 4 bedrooms
  • A built in pool
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • 2 car garage
But there are a lot of questions running through your mind when you're looking at houses.  Like really crazy questions that a girl who grew up in an apartment in Brooklyn feels really odd asking.  For example:  Does the size of the bedrooms really matter?  Are the floors hardwood or laminate?  Can this fence be moved 6 feet?  How important is a formal dining room?  How much febreeze will I need to get this smell out?  

It's overwhelming and it makes my head hurt.  There's one house in particular that I really love, but the bedrooms are small and there's no formal dining room, but I'd sell a kidney for a chance to cook in that kitchen.  

I'm torn between wanting to buy a house right now this minute and not wanting to rush into anything.  What do you guys love/hate about your house?  

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Christina said...

After buying a house & watching my Mom buy a house I really think it is important to go slightly bigger than you actually need. Yes, when you move in it will feel like you don't have enough stuff to fill the space (despite realizing how much stuff you had when you packed in the first place) but, over time you accumulate stuff and your house starts to feel smaller.

Madonna said...

We are in the process of preparing to sell and are buying my grandparents' house. It's not the first house I'd purchase, but for the price, location, and everything it has - I can make it work. (Hubs and I decided that buying this would allow us to splurge on a lakeside camp, making up for what this doesn't have.)

But this house has the overall non-negotiables of three bedrooms (plus enough available room for company), two enclosed porches, a finished basement, a play room, two-car garage, and lots of land for the pool, swingset, etc.

If we didn't know what house we were purchasing, I'd be waiting until I found the right one. I think you will know when you find that house!

Meggie Sue said...

It depends on what your needs are. We have a 3 bedroom 1/1 bathrooms bilevel. We love our house but even with one baby it's feeling a little cramped. One thing to think of though that I didn't realize when buying our house was how old are the HVAC, roof, etc. All those expensive un-glamorous things can really bite you in the butt down the road.

Like I saie, we love our house but a bi-level wouldn't be my 'forever' home. Good Luck!

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Small bedrooms are totally not a deal breaker to me, but the rest of the house has to be roomy. I would choose a dream kitchen over big bedrooms any day! I mean, how much time do you actually spend in your room?

Don't rush into purchasing unless you are in love and know that it's the one. Just my opinion, but it's a HUGE purchase and you want to know you're making the right choice. I think it totally comes down to a gut feeling. When you know it's your house, ya just know.

h_esquire said...

Purchased our first home just under a year ago (a fixer upper with a built-in pool) and here are my thoughts:

- bedroom size does matter if you need extra storage such as a dresser or something to put a TV on. The older the home, the smaller the master bedroom seems to be.
- know that an older home may need an electrical upgrade (ours was built in 1973 and only had razor plug outlets in all the bathrooms)
- a little bigger is better if you don't want to move again for a long time. An extra room that can accommodate another child/ a parent/ a home stay student is something you don't want to have to add onto the house in a few years

Good luck! Buying a home is stressful and rewarding at the same time, but you know that already ;)

mtendere said...

If there is enough room for a large enough dining table in the kitchen, I don't think a dining room is necessary. We have one that we have chosen to use every day and not save for special occasions and the eat-in area of our kitchen is on the small side, so it's nice, but we could survive without it.

I don't think bedroom size is terribly important for kids' bedrooms as long as it can hold the necessities - for the master, it might mean more to you.

The biggest things we compromised for our home is that there is no garage and the master bath is tiny. We decided that those things weren't that important to us since the house was a beautiful home in the right neigborhood for a price that would allow us to make it even more perfect. We do miss having a garage in the extremes of the seasons, but not enough to want to move!

Good luck! I know it's stressful.

Kristin Leamy said...

I love the open center plan of our house. The living room, dining room, kitchen and family room all have an open, airy feel to them, and when we move (currently living with inlaws) I want an open plan house. I LOVE how much bigger it makes everything feel. said...

I also grew up in apartment and when I moved to house for first time, it seemed huge to me!
Now we're in desperate need in more extra space, so you get used to it pretty quickly.

I agree with Christina here - go slightly bigger!

Tara Lotufo said...

I knew i liked you for a reason- I'm from Brooklyn too!! Canarsie- born ans raised!! Where in brooklyn are you from?

I do not have enough closet space in my house! LOOK FOR CLOSETS!!

Also- HATE that I don't have a bathroom in my master bedroom.

One more disike- not enough kids on my block. This is something I'm sure you understand coming from Brooklyn.

Love my central air.

Actuary Mom said...

I love that we live on a quiet street. I love the hardwood. I love the natural light we have. I love that our guest room is on the other side of the house from everybody else.

I love our big living room. It is open to the kitchen I like that too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

misssrobin said...

I love my neighborhood. Seriously, it's about as close as you can get to Mayberry in this day and age. Fabulous people who like each other, watch out for each other, play games and have parties together. It's just really awesome. And within walking distance of the grocery story, city pool, church, elementary, junior high, and high school. My house is old and has lots of problems, but I love my neighborhood so much it's worth it.

Good luck. I hope you find the perfect home in the perfect location. And that everything goes well at closing.

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