J and I are currently saving to buy a house. If all goes according to plan (famous last words), then we will hopefully be in a position to buy in the next 12 months. Which means, I’ve turned into a house-hunting nut. I try not to obsess over it, but it’s hard!
When I have the spare time, I scour Zillow and Trulia for houses, just to get an idea of where and what we could afford. There are so many factors when buying a house, so I made a list of the things we really need, and the extra things we would love to have added on, but aren’t necessary.
- Minimum of 1,400 square footage
- 3+ bedrooms
- 2+ bathrooms
- Fireplace (okay, maybe this is a want, but I’m leaving it here)
- Open floorplan
- Good schools
- Safe neighborhood
- Fenced backyard (or a yard to put in a fence)
- 20 minutes from our work
- Lots of character
- Walk-in closets
- Hardwood floors
- Crown molding
- Granite countertops
- Basement or attic, finished or possibility of renovating
The three factors vying for my attention are the Budget, Location and Needs. Like all home-shoppers, I’m quickly learning that these three usually don’t match each other. Some of the houses I’ve looked at have a great price and location, but are cookie-cutter and average. Or are town homes that offer little flexibility for growth in the future. Others have such affordable charm, but really far from where we work. And then there are the dream homes in our dream areas with an outrageous ticket price.
I go back and forth on the whole thing: I don’t want to spend more than we have to just to keep up with the Joneses and live in the perfect place, but I also don’t want to settle for average, and buy just any house. Then again, I know we’re young and can always get a nicer house later and there are so many great DIY and home projects that can really spruce up a cookie-cutter home.
So, for all you home-buyers, or home-buying enthusiasts, what is the most important piece for you? Square footage? Location? Character? Appliances? Curb appeal?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
(Illustration via adorable Etsy shop!)