Home is Where the Heart Is

We are in the process of house hunting.  This is thrilling, nerve-wracking, time-consuming, and inspiring all at the same time.  I find myself making lists of my wants and dreams and then re-categorizing these lists time and time again.  A nice block with trees, near a good school, an extra bedroom for office space, a yard, a place to park, a dishwasher (bless my husband who, for the past nine months, has washed too many bottles to count!) …the list is written and rewritten over and over again.  I spent Sunday traveling to various open houses and by the end of the day my head was spinning!

I am keeping a notebook where I organize basic information such as neighborhoods, listing prices, bedrooms / bathrooms, open house dates, and my impressions.  You can even find some color-coded post-its in there!  It’s funny how some of my “nonnegotiables” can drop a little further down the list once I become fond of a house.

Simultaneously, we are preparing to put my childhood home on the market. I have many memories of the home my mother made for us, and I find myself thinking about that a lot during this search.  What are the home traditions I want to replicate for my daughter and what new ones do I want to create.  In the past year, I have found this old saying really does ring true: When one door closes, another one opens.

Going through this process is strangely reminding me of my single days when I was looking for the perfect mate.  In a similar fashion I had my lists – everything he had to be, and everything he couldn’t be.  But in the end, I knew when I knew, and my husband cannot be reduced to a wish list, as I suspect perhaps my future home can’t be either. So maybe this organizer should just throw caution (or at least my notebook) to the wind and realize that perhaps it will just be a feeling I will get and I will know I am home.

Are you house hunting?  Leave a comment…what are your “must haves”?  Are you in a starter home? What are the things you want in your next house? Are you in your forever home?  What are the things you thought you wanted, but realize that they didn’t matter as much?

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9 thoughts on “Home is Where the Heart Is

  1. Dana says:

    Oh I think the neighborhood is so important. This is our 2nd spring in our “new” home and I just love watching all of the mature trees bloom while walking to get coffee. It is the exact setting I dreamed of on my house wishlist.

  2. Rhodie says:

    Hi, when my husband and I started looking for our forever home, we hoped for a safe neighborhood,(Although no place is completely safe) we wanted to feel comfortable and secure when we walk down the street. Our wish came true, the home that we hoped for did happen. We wanted a home with plenty of room to spread out with a large yard and that our family and friends could come to and feel love and comfort, and the grandchildren that we hoped for can run and play and we could watch them grow. So yes, you are right Maureen it will not come true in a wish list but it will be a feeling and when you feel it you will know you are home. Happy house hunting!

  3. talespinsbooks says:

    We just switched schools for the kids next year, so we’ll be house hunting in the weeks to come. Looking in the Pasadena, CA area which is (still) a bit of a nightmare, cost-wise. Musts for us are a nice street and a good combination of indoor and outdoor space. Our main goal, however, is to eliminate our current commute, which is just too far.

  4. MammaMarge says:

    Neighborhood, schools, good space in and out, room for expansion if needed. Practically speaking at LEAST a bath and a half is a must. Will have been here 40 years in April and lived without a master bath and a fireplace which were on my ABSOLUTELY HAD TO HAVE!!!!!

  5. Maureen says:

    The common theme in these comments seems to be neighborhood and outdoor space…which is hard in the city – but doable – and on our list as important. Rhodie – I am glad that we have contributed to the grandchildren who will be running around Mom-Mom’s big yard – and Marge – I am glad to hear Santa will still come , even if there is no fireplace!

  6. stevengravelle says:

    I love your new blog! Thanks for the e-mail letting me know about it. Sara and I actually met with a relator for the first time yesterday and started a potential house-hunt… good sized yard, DRY basement and open kitchen are three biggies for us. Good luck with your search!

  7. Jessi says:

    If you want hardwood floors, don’t be deterred by ugly carpets. I have a really cheap and good floor refinisher I can share. Mr. Tim is the best. Just make sure you’ve got wood floors under those heinous carpets. I would add a backyard to your “must have” list. I use mine so much more than I ever would have anticipated.

  8. leighalice says:

    Are you reading http://philly.curbed.com/ ? They have a great series about home buying right now.
    Personally, I always wanted built in bookshelves. It wasn’t a must-have, but I fell for every house with them. Ended up getting a house without them, but we were able to create built-in shelves in our kitchen renovation. This is one small point to prove that you can make any house yours with time and a little sweat equity. Go for space, location, and not too many “unseen” issues that will break the bank and keep you from getting to the fun stuff!

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