House Dreams

17 Jan

Ok, I admit it, I have house on the brain. But sampling my neighbor’s subpar music taste through the air vents in the bathroom or hearing their bronchitis coughs worsen through the kitchen walls just gets old and so does paying money toward something I don’t own. Have no fear, I’m not going crazy. We are still staying strong and amassing a down payment that will be as close to 20% down as we can manage, and we are aiming for a 15 year mortgage. We don’t want to incur the wrath of Dave Ramsey. But we are getting close and I can’t stop picturing what our home will be like. So I thought, why just dream when I can share? Here are the features that I need to get that tingly Hallelujah chorus kind of feeling when I drive up to the house that will become our home.

CURB APPEAL

Here are the things I want to see even before I walk in.

Good schools. No I don’t want the school to actually be in the yard, but I do want the house to be zoned to a school that has a good reputation (good scores, good teachers, good district in general).

All brick. In my price range, this is a real find. But I know they are out there. Also I like a reddish brick or a brownish brick. White brick need not apply.

Nice front yard. Landscaping and a big tree in the front are a plus. A covered front porch is also dreamy.

Good lot. We looked at houses this weekend that had woods behind them. Not only was the view peaceful and beautiful, but no one would ever build behind the house. I like! A cul-de-sac or corner lot is also nice, and I don’t want to be near the entrance of the neighborhood, by a busy street or the biggest house on the block.

Fenced in back yard. This is a necessity. Buster doesn’t understand that he is 100% smaller than cars and lawnmowers. He has charged both. So the less he sees outside his yard the better.

Solid Neighborhood. Are there a lot of for sale signs? Do all the houses look the same? Are the yards in generally good order? Is there a correctional facility right across the street? Just some things to note before committing to a house.

FLOOR PLAN FEATURES

Open airy and light. Yes, please.

Open floor plan. I don’t want my house to feel like a cave. An open floor plan and tall ceilings makes less square feet feel bigger.

Split. I want the master to have its private space.

Fire place. A fire place makes a great focal point. Plus, I run cold.

Hard wood or tile floor in living areas. The less carpet the better. Hardwoods are probably my favorite. But large tile or even stained concrete get top marks over carpet.

Base boards & crown molding. Little touches that complete the house and again, make even a smaller home seem nice.

Lot’s of natural light. Windows! Arched or bay get bonus points. Energy efficient windows are also crucial in this unpredictable AR weather.

Arched doorways or other interesting architectural features. Enough said. I don’t want run of the mill. Fancy light fixtures, sconces, tile backspaces – in short, I want features that give the house personality. To use a term I learned from house hunting with my sister in law, I want a house with “good bones.”

KITCHEN

The kitchen is my favorite room. Call me old fashioned, but I love cooking and baking. So I need the counter space to let the kitchen explode while I try out new recipes.

Island. I love kitchen islands. I don’t know if it is because the extra counter space and storage or because it makes me feel cool.

Gas stove. A gas stove feels more gourmet to me. And I’ve heard it is better for cooking, but I don’t know the science behind it.

Stone or granite countertops. Ok, I admit I’m a kitchen snob!

Stainless or black appliances. Kitchen snob alert 2.0.

Walk-in pantry. This is just because I don’t have a pantry right now, and I’m a little scarred from the experience.

MASTER SUITE

The Master Suite needs to be nice and roomy or what’s the point?

Double vanities. Another scarring feature of most apartments: one sink. Must get my own non-beard haired space soon!

Big closet (bonus for built-in shelves). I really limit the junk I bring with me move to move, but I’d also like to organize my shoes instead of keeping them in a mangled pile. Oh, to dream!

Shower & Jacuzzi tub. I don’t like baths, but I’m thinking resale here people.

Quality tile, counter tops & framed mirrors. Bathroom snob alert.

OTHER

2 to 2.5 baths. I dream of a half bath, but I will be satisfied with at least one other full bath. Consistent luxury features please!

Walk-in closets in other bedrooms. I don’t have kids yet, but I have to consider that someday I may and that they too will have stuff to store.

Wow. That is a long list. I’m either a realtor’s dream or worst nightmare. But we’ve waited and saved for this. Settling is not an option! I hope to be in a house by this time next year or earlier. And I have to believe that somewhere out there, there must be a house that will give me that tingly Hallelujah chorus feeling!

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