I promise I won't bore you with househunting tales for the next several months, but, well, it's on my mind, and it's making me have to put down on paper some things that have floated in my head for years. So here goes:
Last week our realtor asked me to describe my dream house to her.
I've always thought that was a bunch of bunk, but when I sat down to email her, I realized when it really comes down to it, there are some particular things I look for in a home. They are not "needs." Our "need" is shelter. But they are nice. We've owned three homes, and each one has had little bits of each of these, but none has ever had it "all," especially not beautiful rolling hills here in suburbia. And for the record, doubt I ever will have it "all" this side of heaven!
Here are some of my dreams:
- Curve through trees to house hidden behind (I know this is hard on our budget, but we're dreaming, aren't we?)
- Trees and creek or pond
- View of more than the neighbor's back fence or front yard
- Within, say 4-5 miles from town to keep commute down
- No Walmart, mega-subdivision/golf community across the street or in backyard
- Not on main road (or one that is likely to become one in the future), not backing onto a main road, and preferably far away from a main road (several blocks, if we were in town)
- The kids seem to really want to be "out," not in a neighborhood, but I'm still not dead-set against that.
- Windows across the whole back, opening to patio or deck
- Large front porch (I like the prairie style)
- Kitchen that opens out to the family room
- Upstairs landing or game room
- Three bathrooms would be very nice!
- VERY LARGE LAUNDRY ROOM on same floor as kitchen
- Good size closets in every bedroom (all our kids have to share except Neal-13)
- In general, tons of storage because there are just so many of us
- High ceilings, skylights, and windows, windows, windows (is there a theme here? If I can't BE outside I want to LOOK outside!)
- Reasonably well taken care of - I can paint but I don't want to replace bad wiring or plumbing
- One that we could host youth group functions - good flow for entertaining, maybe a fire pit out back, etc.
- A huge, imposing, yuppie-looking house
- Large master bathroom
- Not stretching our budget too thin
Today I saw a house that had many of these qualities. The lot was breathtaking. But I'm coming to learn that the word "custom home" must be code for "strange." It's the second home we've seen out in the country that was obviously built on the fly ("Hey! This looks like a good place for a fireplace! Let's put some bricks here!"). It was a large house but with so much wasted space and awkward angles, I don't know if we could make it work, even if we got a good deal on it.
So then it's the classic lot versus house debate: do we take less house and go for the land (this one is overlooking a gorgeous field), or take a smaller lot and a nicer house?
What would your dream home look like?