After speaking with one of my best friends who recently bought a house and seeing the progress they made in a few short months, Ryan and I both feel a little more comfortable with the idea of fixing up a house and re-doing some things if we can find a house at a good price. Owning a house and taking on housing projects just seems so adult and even though we are adults now, it’s still kind of blowing my mind that we could be buying a house. Eek!
I will be meeting with a realtor again later this afternoon to check out another round of houses. We found one we absolutely loved a few weeks ago, but in the end it wasn’t quite right and now we’re back to square one. This process is teaching us a little bit more about what we really hope to find in our first home. I am not naive enough to think that we’ll find all of these things in one house (or even the majority of them!), but here’s a little list of some things we’d love to see in our dream house:
- Lots of Natural Lighting
If you’ve been reading PBF for a few years, you may remember when Ryan and I used to live in an apartment that we not-so-affectionately dubbed the “Mouse House.” Not only did the apartment have mice (ew!), but it was also very, very dark inside. It did not have a lot of windows and natural light and it bugged the crap out of me. Lots of windows and natural light is now non-negotiable for me in a house.
- A White Kitchen
This is one thing I’d love to find in a house, but it’s also something I know will be hard to find. I think white kitchens are so darn beautiful but the vast majority of houses we’re seeing feature kitchens with light or dark wood… or kitchens that need a ton of work. An updated, white kitchen is not something we need, but it would be pretty darn sweet if we found a home that had this feature!
- Fenced-In Backyard
This is another thing that’s not a deal-breaker, but it would be wonderful if we found a house that had a fenced-in backyard for Sadie!
- Safe and Walkable Neighborhood
A neighborhood that’s walkable (and ideally has sidewalks) is pretty important to me and Ryan. We take Sadie on two walks a day and want to feel like we can walk out our front door and not get buzzed by speeding cars. Sidewalks would be ideal, but if we find a neighborhood without them that doesn’t have a ton of cars whizzing through it all the time, that would be just fine.
- Open Floor Plan
I adore kitchens that open up into living rooms. Since most people seem to congregate in kitchens at parties and family gatherings, I’d love to have an open floor plan that allows for people in the kitchen to easily chat with those in the living room. (And just seeing those beautiful light couches makes me laugh. Sadie = No white couches… Ever.) It’s not a deal-breaker for me by any means, but it would be a nice feature!
- Family Friendly/Active Neighborhood
Though Ryan and I aren’t planning to start a family for a little while, living in a house that is located in a family-friendly area is important to us. I love seeing kids outside playing and people outside walking their dogs or running. It makes neighborhoods feel more homey to me for some reason.
- Good Schools
I had a fantastic experience with public schooling in Illinois and thankfully the public schools in the areas we are looking to buy a house seem to be pretty great. Since I’d love to find a house we can stay in for years and years, we’re trying to think ahead and consider school districts when looking at houses.
- Hardwood Floors
Again, this is not a deal-breaker, but if a home has hardwood floors, that’s a definite plus! Our rental house in Ocala had carpet all over the place and it was so hard to keep clean! Plus, from an aesthetic standpoint, I prefer the look of hardwood over carpet.
- Close To Things To Do
Ryan and I made the mistake of renting a house that was a good 20 – 30 minutes from almost everything in Ocala. This experience definitely impacted our desire to find a house that is close to a vibrant area of town with lots of things to do.
- A Good Vibe
Have you ever walked into a house and immediately had a “WTF happened here!?” feeling? I never did until about two weeks ago when I walked into a house and got a seriously creepy vibe from the place. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad or scary happened in that house and knew immediately I could never live there. It was really crazy (especially since I’m not into ghosts or other stuff like that), but I definitely need a house with a good vibe.
Photo Sources: All of the above images are from Houzz.com. (And yes, I know they’re totally baller. I’m not thinking we’ll find a house that looks like them, but I can dream.) If you love interior design or browsing pictures of beautiful homes, stay far, far away from Houzz or you will get sucked into the abyss for hours and hours on end. I both love and hate our realtor for telling me about it!
Questions of the Morning
- What features would you love to see in your dream home?
- What are some “must have” features you think would be non-negotiable to you when it comes to buying a house?