Monday, March 3, 2008

Who knew this would be so hard?

We have started the house hunting! Although the internet makes this process easy - it is harder now than it was when we had little kids around.

The first house purchase was driven by things like school district, enough bedrooms, yard to play in and a nice neighborhood. How easy was that!! The second house was right across the street from the first... a bigger house, a bigger yard... Easy Breezy - I didn't even have to get rid of stuff - just cart it across the street (and get rid of it 16 years later - LOL).

We are looking for a house that has a large workshop space for my husbands woodworking machines and tools. That requires a tall basement with outside access... or a large garage that can be converted... or enough land to build... and the what if's and maybe's continue around that subject.

We both like older homes... I know that seems silly after I spent my summer painting woodwork (and complaining). Older homes just have more character - to us anyway. We walked though a model home in a new construction neighborhood a couple weekends ago... blah, blah, blah. The older the better - which brings it's own set of challenges.

We have been aiming for 3 bedrooms - a room for us, a guest room (for family and quilty friends) and a room for a sewing studio. Yep, The Engineer does recognize my needs as a quilter.

A reasonably sized kitchen.
Here are a couple pictures of the small kitchen I had in MA.

This first picture is taken from the doorway leading into the kitchen... you see on the left the dishwasher and the back door to the basement and outside. Then there is the little alcove that the frige calls home.
The next picture is taken while standing in front of the frige looking over at the kitchen work area - not a kitchen for several people to work in.

I'd rather re-do a kitchen myself than have someone thow in a black granite counter top and stainless appliances... a look that probably won't work with an old kitchen.

We want wood floors... but it seems that all the old homes that had wood floors originally have covered them with carpet. After living with carpets for a couple months... I know that I want my wood floors back - I don't like carpet. That's just me... I know lots of folks love carpet - I like wood - real wood.

So we've been looking online and have made a few trips out to look at houses with a realtor. It's amazing how much nicer some of these places look in their pictures than they do in person. And after spending all the time getting my house in MA ready to sell... I'm surprised at the condition of some of the houses we have visited. I guess they haven't been watching HGTV like I did.

This online looking has been made easier. The realty company we are using has a cool online web site. Once you register you have a 'virtual dayplanner' that saves your search criteria and houses you want to save to have a look at. You can search through houses from a list or from a map view. The map view is interesting because you can even get a closer view with the satellite images. You can see what your neighbors yards are like or if there is a yard with a scrap heap in back! You can then plan your trip by selecting what houses you want to visit and they map it out. I still use my GPS for actual driving directions - but it's a cool tool.

After looking and looking my eyes hurt and my brain is turning to jelly. But we do have a few contenders.

There is the Dr's House - a large 3 story brick with an even larger addition (both basement and main level) it needs a fair amount of work; the Amish House - a brick ranch with a big tall walk out basement and a barn - some work needed but in a nice country setting; the Plumbers house with a heated 2 car garage, a large basement (but not tall) in nice condition but right next to the highway.

There is another one we want to look at tomorrow. A Cape with 2 garages. Here is some of the description from the listing: "First garage would serve well as mechanical garage with 9 x 9 overhead door, half bath, plenty of room for tool benches. Second garage is a dream - measuring 28 x 30 , 12 x 12 overhead door, includes a separate heating system and electrical panel. Workbenches already in place, a full wall of closet storage and plenty of natural sunlight!" LOL Kinda sounded like a trip to Disney Land to The Engineer... more room for woodworking machines than he could have dreamed of! We are anxious to see the rest of the house - it may need some work but that would be OK. Heck we could live in the garages until the house was ready... don't ya think?

So... the process goes on... hopefully not forever.


Bon said...

Hope you find the house that will fit your needs and wants. SOON!

Keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

If you want a visual on the bigger garage, Cheryl, ours is 28'X28'. Or, it's 1/2 the size of the house! Yah, this gadget gal has a gadget guy, too!!!

Happy searching.