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Monday, July 8, 2013

The New House List

Those of you that know me know I am a big list maker. I love making lists and crossing things off. So it should come as no surprise that ever since we built and bought our first home, we made a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for our next house. You really learn so much the first time around about what you like,  what works for your lifestyle and what is important/not important to you.
For instance, with our first house I could have cared less about an actual dining room as long as I had an area to fit a big table which is why we turned our dining room into an office. But for the new house we decided we wanted a dining room to host big family gatherings and have a separate place for Eric's office.

So here is the must have and nice to have list we worked with while house hunting for our new home.

Must Haves
a 1. Under 30 minute commute to work with traffic
a 2. 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms
a 3. Master bedroom and at least one other bedroom and bathroom on the same floor
a 4. Open layout with very open kitchen to family room area and big kitchen island
a 5. Community pool (this implies a must have was to be in a neighborhood)
a 6. 9ft ceilings
a 7. Something that would not need a major renovations, new plumbing, new roof, etc. etc.
a 8. Place for both of us to have desks
a 9. 3 car garage or a place for Eric to have a workshop/workout area
a 10. Open foyer area
a 11. Stairs that do not stare you down (pun intended) as soon as you go in the front door - this is what I disliked most about our first home
a 12. Good school options
a 13. Easy access to a lake
a 14. Within 10-15 minutes of places we go regularly like the grocery store, the pharmacy, etc.
a 15. Nice-sized closets and storage
a 16. Dining room
a 17. No areas like a formal living room that we wouldn't use and couldn't be made into anything else
a 18. And of course in our price range

Nice to Haves
a1. Place for me to do crafts
a2. Side load garage
    3. Kitchen sink at a window
a4. Mature trees
a5. Community sidewalks
a6. Back porch or deck
    7. Heated floors in master bath (a FL raised girl can dream right?)
a8. Sidelights in the front door
    9. Brick exterior
a10. Front porch
a11. Mudroom or a place to keep bags/backpacks etc.
    12. On a culdesac
a13. Energy efficient

Notice I didn't list things like wood floor or granite or particular cabinets since that is all stuff you can change fairly easily.

Since we were looking because the market was right and not because we had to move, we made sure to find something with all of our must haves. We were casually looking for about 6 months before we made our decision. Since we decided to build and do new construction again it made it easy to obtain more of our nice to haves and even get some "pie in the sky" items like cushion close drawers in the kitchen and wood stairs.

While house hunting you can easily get caught up in the moment so I think it helps to have your list you made ahead of time to come back to when comparing options and determining what you are and are not willing to compromise on.

I am going to share our floor plan soon and you can see how some of our list items fit in!

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