Sorry for all the exclamation points, but I’m really excited for this: my husband has officially declared that he’s ready to start looking for a house! (Obviously I’ve been ready for a while, but we haven’t been in a financially-ready place until recently.)
Our apartment lease isn’t up until September, and we have my parents visiting in Sept. and my best friend’s wedding the first week of Oct., so we’re actually hoping to be in a position to find the right place and start paperwork/inspections and such late this fall (October/November 2013). About that time both the hubs and I should also be eligible for promotions at work too, which will help. Actually, I’m eligible right now, but due to the sequestration that hit the government on April 1st, I actually had to drop to PT and take some furlough time (thanks Congress!) and my agency won’t have funds for my promotion until at least Oct. 1st. But it’s nice to know that there will be some extra cash headed our way, and if we can afford a house on what we’re making now, we won’t end up being house-poor later this year 😉 Also, the hubs is really good at squirreling away money, so we already have enough for a sizable down payment!
As soon as he made his announcement, I immediately sat him down to talk about our wants list for a house versus our absolute needs. Here’s what the two of us came up with.
At least 2 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms – We’re very social and love to have guests, so it’s important that we have space for them!
Space for our current dining room table which is 4ft. by 4ft. and has a butterfly leaf that extends it to 6 ft. – We play a lot of board games with our friends and that’s not going to change anytime soon, so we need a large table, and therefore space for our large table.
Yard – for the Horrible Hound, preferably already fenced.
Parking – Whether a garage/carport/driveway or street parking, we need a spot for our car (a white 2013 Honda Fit, if anyone is interested. No? Ok…)
An open/flowing floor plan, or the ability to easily create one (I’m not scared of taking out a wall, but we don’t want to do major renovations to every room of the house).
Location – Needs to be close to a major artery into DC or some kind of public transit.
Patio/porch or space for a patio/porch – Preferably directly off the kitchen for easy grilling and entertaining (Honestly, who needs a formal dining room for entertaining? No one. Patios and porches are where it’s at.)
Wood floors, or ugly carpet that I don’t feel bad about ripping up 🙂
Office space separate from the guest bedroom – I am able to work from home, so especially when I get back to full-time it would be easier if we had a dedicated “office” area.
Space for a chest freezer – I love to cook. Enough said.
Kegerator and bar area – Again with the entertaining thing. Does anyone else know how much cheaper it is to have a keg of quality beer as opposed to buying cans/bottles regularly? A lot. We did it in college (the hubs had a super cool landlord who knew we wouldn’t be throwing wild parties) and it was awesome, so we’d like to continue that. We usually got 8 gallon kegs (like a medium size) and if we invited people over we’d go through them pretty quickly. The best part: no cans or bottles to take back!
Natural Gas – I reaaaaaaally prefer cooking on a gas range over cooking on an electric range.
Fireplace(s) – So cozy in winter, and I love the smell of burning wood 🙂
I, personally, would love to buy a house that needs a bit of work, so we can put our own stamp on it, but again, we don’t want a complete fixer-upper that we have to demo down to the studs and subfloor. I also absolutely abhor split-level houses, houses where the garage is in front of the houses’ facade (like this), and houses with no character (i.e. McMansions). If I really had my way, we’d be in a Craftsman-style bungalow or cottage or a Cape Cod style house. I’ve actually spent some (OK, lots) of time looking at house photos and floor plans, and I can pinpoint my favorite layouts easily (kitchen near back of house, foyer and main living space near the front door, etc.). Of course, Pinterest helps me keep track of my favorite ideas, so let me share them with you! (The links to the original sources can all be found on my Pinterest board House Ideas.)