Remember a few weeks ago, when I said I was tempted to look for available houses? Well, they say if you seek, you WILL find, and that's true especially in this real estate market.
And so here we are...about six weeks into serious house-hunting. We have rejected quite a few, have narrowed our focus down to three serious contenders, and of those, one that I think might be THE one.
How do you know if the house is THE house? Or just A house? A really nice house, but just a house? There's a feeling that says "this is it" but if you're like me, you can get that fluttery feeling from more than one house. Sometimes it happens in two houses in a row, in less than an hour. Hmmmm. Am I THAT fickle? (For those who know me, there's no need to answer that one :-)
In the absence of a strong sense of rightness, sometimes this decision boils down to cold, hard facts. Price is certainly a consideration. Size of property, size of house, size of rooms, size of closets - all important. Location is also a key factor. How many of my "most wanted" features does it have? How many of Mr. Official's most-desired features does it have? (Does he HAVE a list of wish-list items? Does any man?)
With our present house, I lobbied for it based on location (proximity to specific schools), size of backyard, and - strangely enough - its severely dated interior. I was exiting a demanding career, and knew I'd need some major projects to keep me challenged and sane as I learned to adapt to life as a stay-at-home-mom. A house that needed serious updating seemed like a good choice, and that's what we got. I learned a lot of things through the process (and not just how to hang cabinets or do a professional dry wall job.) I learned that some things (like 8-foot ceilings and small windows) are not easily changed and to evaluate and consider the neighbors along with the neighborhood.
This time, I'm looking for move-in-ability. I don't want to have to do anything more serious than change the paint color in the bedrooms and have the carpets, kitchen, bathrooms and windows cleaned before we move in. I'm also leaning toward a house that has virtually no neighbors, except for livestock. Given where we've been over the past decade, quite frankly a few goats and horses and/or poultry living next door sounds pretty good.
Everyone's different, every house is different, and every move is at a different point in our lives. So is this THE one? Or at least the one for now, tomorrow and a year or two from now? I sure hope so....