May 2, 2011

The house: a reality check

As I move into full-bore moving mode today, I thought I would take a moment for a reality check:  dream house versus real house.  Below is my wish list, and how this house measures up:

1. A bigger kitchen. Not commercial-size - I don't want to run a marathon to fix dinner. But I really doubt I will get duped into another 9x18 space for kitchen and eating area. Fool me once, all that.

Got it.  Plus a second sink, a fabulous island, convection oven with warming drawer and beautiful black granite countertops.  Winning!

2. A walk-in pantry. I will miss my big pantry I have now, unless I find a way to have another one. (Note to self: forget the "mom cave" - just give me a big honkin' pantry, preferably with built-in cabinets, electrical outlets and maybe even a sink beneath a window, with countertops on either side.)

Not exactly.  (But it's big enough and the excessive abundance of kitchen storage makes up for it.)

3. Taller ceilings. I'm no giant, but even at my stature, eight-foot-ceilings feel a little claustrophobic, especially when you've lived in a house with soaring space above your head.

Got 'em.  Love, love, LOVE them.  Another winner.

4. Fireplaces. As in multiple - one outdoors, and at least two or three indoors. They are one of the things that make winter bearable.

Got one.  But there is room to add one outside (on the list of future projects.)  And if I really want one for our bedroom, there's always ventless...

5. Windows, windows, and more windows. Tall windows that let in lots of light. And that tilt in for cleaning.

Got 'em..  Another one for the W column.  Light streams in, but with the big wraparound porch, it's not direct sunlight beating in.  And the sunroom that adjoins the den makes a fantastic spot to curl up in the mornings.

6. Closets, closets, and more closets. B-I-G closets. There ought to be a law that all closets must be large enough to do what they're designed to do (plus some wiggle room), whether they are for linens or coats or clothes.

Got 'em.  This place has way more closet space than we have had in the past but I'm sure we'll find something to put in all those nooks and crannies.

7. A central vacuum. Had one, loved it, would love one again.

Nope.  But it's always possible to add one.  Right, sweetheart?  Sweetheart????

8. A garbage disposal. (Or, put another way - no septic system.) It's the little things that mean a lot. You don't miss 'em until you don't have them any more.

Yes and no.  Yes, we have a disposal.  But we're still on septic. We'll see how that works.

9. A walk-in attic. One that you can actually stand up and WALK around in. Every time I pull down the attic stairs, I get a mental image of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and flinch at the though of the staircase smacking me in the face. It can't, but it just feels like it might. And hauling my Christmas decorations up and down attic stairs and stooping over at the waist to tuck them away is JUST NO FUN.

Got it.  (Now let's see if we can keep it organized :-)

10. A covered or screened-in porch. With a niche for a TV (above that outdoor fireplace) and an adjacent hot tub, preferably with a view of a pond, stream or other burbling natural water feature, close enough to hear and far enough away to not pose a flooding threat.

Big deck, but not covered. No hot tub yet, but those are definitely high possibility projects for the future.  And in the meantime, there's that humongous wraparound porch - perfect for sitting and rocking.

I'd have to say the reality is pretty close to the wish list.  Three of the not-quites are potential future additions (if/when we feel like tackling them.)  And the rest of my wishes were met in some form or fashion. It's hard okay, impossible to complain, especially when I also got the bonus gifts of a fantastic wraparound porch with a view of a  huge pond and farm life all around me every time I walk outside.  (All the fun of living on a farm and none of the expense or mess.)

The search for the perfect house was frustrating and discouraging at times.  But I'm really glad I had a list of high-priority items that I was seeking, and stuck to my guns.  May all YOUR wishes come true, too.

Happy wishing,