House Hunting & Lessons Learned

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If you follow me on Instagram you notice we’ve been poking around looking at houses and seeing what’s out there. Realistically, we’re not looking to move until next spring/summer- but we’re keeping our eyes open and popping in to open houses just in case we find something we love earlier.

Our goal is to find 1-3 houses we really like and then put our house on the market. I think it’ll sell quickly, and I have a profit in mind that I think we should easily make. We are not in a position to carry two mortgages at once if our house doesn’t sell and we’re also not really in a rush to move. We want to be super deliberate with this move in hopes that the next house we buy will be our 30-40 year home.

1900 Victorian home

Lesson 1: The bigger the house, the more of the land it takes up.

I know, right? HOW did I not realize that! This 1900 renovated Victorian was bananas gorgeous and I was obsessed with it. It looks like a cake for crying out loud! I had the whole thing decorated in my mind. I needed this adorable house. What I didn’t realize was that even though the plot of land it sits on is about what we have now (.25 acres), it’s double the size of our current house sooooo it ate up all the land. No bueno- we have dogs that need room to run and also one of the main points of us moving is to have more space away from neighbors.

waterfront cape home

Lesson 2: I would give up almost all of my “must haves” for a waterfront home. But not allof them.

I wanted to love this little pond front home so much. I mean THAT VIEW! AM I RIGHT?! I can give up just about everything on my “must have” list to live on water, but I can’t give up everything and also have to put in about $15k. The kitchen was small and needed to be gutted, the finished basement was too small for the movie room my husband wants, 2 of the 3 bedrooms were super tiny, and space for the dogs was limited (this house is sideways on the plot, so what you’re seeing LOOKS like a front yard, but it’s actually a side yard and would be really awkward to fence). And honestly, I could get over all those things to wake up on a lake everyday… But in addition to those missing pieces it also needed a paved driveway, landscaping around the paved driveway, privacy fencing from the neighbors, and to be painted. Ooof. Driveway, landscaping, fencing, and paint on top of a gutting (and possible adding on to) a kitchen is more than we can financially handle right now.

red colonial home

Lesson 3: I need an open concept. 

Look at this cute all American home! The curb appeal is lovely, the neighborhood was fantastic, the yard was great. But a traditional Colonial is not the right fit for us. This house had an awkwardly long living room that I don’t know how on earth you’d arrange. It had four bedrooms, but really the square footage for three so you would have needed to knock down a wall and redesign. The hallways were too skinny (and honestly, I don’t really want hallways at all). Perfect for someone else, but just not us.

We have a lot more lessons to learn I’m sure, but I think we know what town is calling our name (sorry mom, it’s 15-20 minutes further away) and we’re honing in on the style we want (I would murder someone for a Victorian, but we’re probably going to end up with a cape). The search continues! What’s on your “must have” list? What tips do you have for us??

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