Monday, August 12, 2013

Home Owner Adventures Part 1: Deciding What We Want

We have started the process of buying our first house! We decided to go with a smaller mortgage firm; as we were advised that larger banks can take up to 90 days to complete the process. There are a million things to consider like credit scores, job history, income level and the amount of money saved up for a down payment and closing costs when getting pre-approved for a loan. It is enough to give anyone a major headache!

However the much more fun part has been deciding what we want in a house based on our budget! Everywhere I have read suggests that wants and needs should be separated. So that is exactly what we did. Needs should be based on structural elements and location. Wants are things that can eventually be changed. Here is our list:


  • 4 bedrooms (or an area that can easily be changed into a 4th bedroom such as a study)- We love the idea of having a bigger family and don't want to have to move out of our house, just because there is not enough room for everyone to sleep. While we are definitely not opposed to kids sharing bedrooms, we would rather not be in a situation where we have a 12 year old daughter sharing a bedroom with her 1 year old sister. The 4th bedroom would give us much more flexibility in that area!
  • Between 1800 and 2400 square feet- This seems to be the right size for us and our growing family, given the right layout. I don't want a huge house because I cannot stand cleaning, but I want there to be adequate space. I am imagining we will have at least 4 children. Although that can never really be planned...
  • Largish yard- As a child I spent hours everyday in the yard. I want my children to have that too. I also want room for a small backyard garden, a hammock and some fruit trees. I am in heaven just thinking about all of this!
  • The right location- This is probably our top priority! Being zoned to good schools is extremely important to us, as our children will most likely be attending the public schools. We also want to live in an area where the neighbors appear friendly. 
  • 1-story house- One story houses seem to encourage more family time and they make adjustments to new babies easier! (Although this is a structural element, it made it to our want list because we would be open to buying a 2-story home)
  • Brick outside- This one is important to my husband...I cannot tell you the exact reason why. I will say that I don't mind either way. So since it is important to him it can go on our wants list!
  • Wood floors- Wood is easier to clean and looks so much nicer. I hate carpet and all the ground up playdoh that gets into it. I also hate how laminate flooring peels up on the edges after it gets a little old. YUCK!
  • Kitchen/living room entertaining space- I would love to be able to cook and talk to guests at the same time!
  • Gas range stove- It cooks food more evenly. Need I say more?
I am sure I forgot something on our list, but that is the gist of it. I am extremely excited to begin the process of going to look at homes!

For those of you who own homes, what were your make or break items? What do you wish you would have considered? For those of you who are dreaming of home ownership, what do you want in a home?

Linking up with Works for Me Wednesdays!


  1. Congratulations! How exciting...and it sounds as if you have put a great deal of thought into your decision already. If I could add anything from my own personal experience it would be the following...

    1. An open floor plan is more family friendly.

    2. Brick holds heat and can make your house hot!

    3. Wood laminate flooring is much easier to care

    4. A mudroom is a must with kids!
    Shoes, coats, boots, and
    backpacks pile up!

    1. Thanks Billie Jo! I didn't even think about the necessity of a mudroom! It would hopefully prevent me from piling stuff up on my kitchen table every time I get home. Maybe we just had a bad experience with laminate flooring? The house we are in is only about 10 years old and everywhere the laminate comes close to a doorway it is peeling up. Dirt and grime is getting trapped where it peels...and it is starting to gross me out!

  2. For us, distance from the neighbors was a definite need. That and having a front door that didn't open directly into the chaos of the living room. I hated answering the door and having whoever was out there able to see everything we were doing. Now I've got a small enclosed porch, but it's just enough of a buffer to provide some privacy.

    Square footage wasn't a big deal for us -- it all depended on the layout.