"I can't even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there's a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life. It's more important to confirm the least sincere. The clouds get enough attention as it is..."
— Frank O'Hara
I have been haunting the mls for 5 years now, and the time has come that it is really my turn to really get serious. And now that it is here, I am a little bit afraid to act. It is just my way.
The housing market here is rather depressing to those of us who are beggars that cannot be choosers, but if I could choose, these are my druthers:
1) I love a kitchen with white and glass-doored cabinents and dark granite counter tops. I'd love an island with shelves. Subway tile on the walls and stainless, too, please.
Here is the "after" of the kitchen we remodeled ourselves (Brigham was the laborer) in our little bungalow in Salt Lake.
2) A back deck off the kitchen or dining area.
This one is almost a must. We looked at a house that was way too small for us (and the $$), but I could have been foolishly talked into it because of that tiered back deck and fenced, level yard. I want (need) to be able to look out the kitchen window and see the boys playing outside in the back.
3) A front porch.
This one is silly, I know, especially in this part of the country, but my heart is mightily tugged when I see a front porch on a property. Were it not for my more level-headed husband, I would trade a 4th bedroom or a 3rd bath or physical safety for a front porch in just about a second. There was a house in 16th street heights (DC) whose front porch sang a siren song to my soul; Brigham noted that the front porch could fit almost an entire gang of neighborhood thugs.
4) A neighborhood with treelined streets, a bike trail and lots of children for the boys to play with. I am willing to negotiate on the bike trail, if I must.
5) Big windows. Many of them. My mother in law disagrees, pointing out that she does not like "the sun beating down upon [her]" (I loved that conversation!), but I welcome as much abuse as that sun can dish out (in?) through my windows. The better to look at my large, fenced and level backyard where I have locked my children until they get in better moods/get their energy out/are ready to not act like wild animals.
These are my druthers. I will give up a garage (I have never had one in my entire life, anyway); I could do 3 bedrooms if at least one was big enough for the boys to share; I can buy a house that needs to be remodelled (but not added onto); the basement doesn't HAVE to walk out. I don't need a formal dining room, either. Just let me eat in my kitchen, let the light pour in, give me a master bath of my own, keep us on the same level while we sleep, a working fireplace (as many as you can spare), and a garden where I can grow veggies, herbs and flowers and fit a trampoline.
But I try not to dwell upon these prefences too much, though, since at the end of the day the best I can realistically hope for (and which will bring me joy) is a clean, well-lighted place we can call home. Though that means a cleaning service.