House Hunting isn't for Cowards

"Our house is a very very very fine house."  (If you are older than 40, you may recognize this oldie.  Every time I see the words "Our House," I think of that song!)  But I am digressing already...

House Hunting Tips

For the last several months (and several other times over the last several years!), we have gone house hunting.  Our current home is a cute, blue frame house my husband bought when he was single and 24. (He is now, ahem, almost 50. In less than a week, in fact.)  It's not an impressive house, but it's full of years of memories.

House Hunting TipsOur house is small by today's (and even yesterday's) standards, but what it lacks in square footage on the inside, it makes it up on the outside.  We LOVE our backyard, with a capital LOVE.  It's between 1/2 and 3/4 of an acre, with woods and a creek behind, (woods that are home to otters, coyotes (true--we saw the pups, and yes, even a rare snake.)  It's our haven, really, where a morning cup of coffee on the deck is our natural anti-anxiety med.  We finally got a pool, (after years of saying "when we move, we'll get a pool."  We figured if we kept saying that, we may never get a pool.)

We've enjoyed our yard and our lack of a mortgage over the last several years, so we've waited to move on, and now are searching pretty aggressively to make a modest move up. We'd love to entertain, and short of knocking down walls, that's not easily done here (at least not inside!)

This past weekend, we toured several open houses (again----as we have been doing all summer.)  We have the most patient realtor who ever existed.  It's been so difficult for us to choose a house--so many trade offs, so many compromises. We like to live debt free, or close to it, and a big mortgage doesn't quite fit that lifestyle. We have, though, learned a LOT about house hunting.

What we've learned:

It's important to go with your gut feeling when it comes to location. We spent the summer needlessly  viewing homes that were really not where we wanted to live, even though they were great neighborhoods, figuring that expanding our search would help us find one quicker.  We found quite a few nice houses that were just too far away from "home."

There will ALWAYS be a compromise, unless you are building a brand new house. Decide which things are most important to you---open floor plan, nice yard backing to trees, walk in closets, updated kitchen, 3 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms---you will not get them all.

Don't drink too much coffee before you leave for a Sunday afternoon open house outing. (This I know from experience. Enough said.)

Horizontal cracks in the foundation are BAD.
We've learned more than that of course. (But this is starting to get a tad depressing, given our lack of success so far!)  We do still have some house hunting season left, and I'm even starting to enjoy it...a little.

23 comments

  1. This is some VERY good advice. We have lived at about 10 different addresses in the 10 years we have been married (including three home purchases), so I can feel your pain in finding the perfect place. So glad for you that you can take your time in looking and find JUST the right thing. Good luck!

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  2. Thanks Jen! Wow, 10 addresses! You must be VERY good at house hunting!

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  3. Pam, we have been house hunting too. I have a post about house hunting with monsters a few months ago. To buy, we will have to move an hour from my husband's work (and that is without traffic). Right now we live 10 minutes away, but are in a 1200 sq ft house with 1 common room and using it for homeschooling and everything else. We are just too tight! I can totally understand your ups and downs right now! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! Caren with a "C" preservinghomebasics.com

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  4. Your house is beautiful!!
    I can't wait until we buy our first home! :)

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  5. HA! Excellent tips. Go with your gut-absolutely! And yes there is always a compromise, you never get it all!

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  6. House hunting is so hard. Especially when you're leaving behind so many memories. It's hard to compete with that. Great list! Thanks for coming by my blog the other day. Glad to meet you! :)

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  7. Thanks for visiting. Don't know if you got the reply I left to your comment. I'm sorry but don't remember when or where we "met" online. Can you refresh my memory?
    House hunting is definitely not easy cause there's usually something you won't like.

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  8. Caren-- You are completely feeling our pain! Yes, it is tight! I am trying to think of it as "cozy."
    Mrs. T--Thank you! Best wishes on finding your first home!
    AB Home--Yes, I really wish there weren't any compromises involved!
    Adrienne--Glad to meet you too. So true about leaving behind memories!
    Saph--I enjoyed catching up last week!

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  9. Oh I think your home is darling! I much prefer the cottage feel over the enormous homes they build these days and those have been my favorite places to live. Every time my husband points to a large house I simply say, "I'm not cleaning THAT!" *snicker*
    ♥Sharon

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  10. Thanks for visiting my blog and for signing up to be a follower! What a blessing! I'm now following you too! Love all of your helpful tips and your beautiful cat and sweet little dog! Blessings!

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  11. Thanks Sharon and Jen! I appreciate the encouraging comments!

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  12. Oh, what a beautiful house. I absolutely love it.

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  13. My husband and I are big fans of living in a house debt free as well! It is amazing how cheaply we can live when we do not have to pay a mortgage (or lease payment).

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  14. Pretty back yard. May I ask: Why are you moving? By the way, I think you have the right idea about moving into a new home--LOCATION. You can fix a lot of things, but not the location. I wish you good luck on your house hunting endeavors...visiting from SITS.

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    1. Thanks Nicole. We have wanted to move for so long, because, well.. our house is TINY. But, now that our kids are older, we are kind of considering just skipping the "move up" part and just staying where we are. It's a manageable size, and we won't ever have to downsize. :)

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  15. My husband and I changed our flat a week ago so I know how painful it can be (both leaving your old home and finding the right new one).

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    1. Yes, it's all such a huge process isn't it? We are truly considering just staying.

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  16. I remember when I saw my house I just knew. I just knew it was the one for me, from inside to outside to every flaw in-between. Best of luck on your house hunt!! :)

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    1. I agree, Jennifer. I think somehow you just know.

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  17. We just recently moved...into our second home. we wanted a four bedroom.. I love older homes with character.. we ended up in a builder grade new home lol.. so needless to say many projects going on here.. but at least I love project so it has turned out ok.. we are thankful for a nice home.. enjoyed your blog and writing! here from sits!

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  18. Yes, the projects sometimes seem never ending. I'm glad I enjoy them too! Thanks so much for your comment, Camille!

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  19. Visiting from the SITSGirls!

    Thank you for the house-hunting tips. My husband and I currently live in an apartment, which we have done since college, and I am OVER IT. I am so ready to have room to spread out. Oh and storage. We might be looking for a house in the next couple of years. Wonderful post! Your layout is lovely.

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  20. I'm glad the tips are helpful to you Megan. And thanks for your nice words! Best wishes looking for a house.

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I appreciate every comment. Thank you!

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