My “What I Want in a Home” Wish List

Probably the most fun part of meeting with a realtor is when you get to talk about what it is you’re looking for in a home. They show this part on House Hunters all the time, and that’s usually when you hear “open floor plan” and/or “granite countertops” and/or “man cave.” Everyone on that show wants those things. I, on the other hand, have developed my own unique list of must-haves in my home. Realtors like to tell you there is no “perfect” home, and I think its smart for them to drive that point home. If you’re a first-time home buyer, chances are you’re not going to get granite countertops or a finished man cave. Chances are you’re going to land in a fixer-upper, which is my reality. I’ll get to that part. So, there I am, mid-January, cautiously optimistic about starting my home search. I’m sitting across from my realtor, who has just gone through the things I should know binder, and she asks me what features I’m looking for in my first home. I already knew what I was going to say, but I was self-conscious about it. Was my list too simple? Was it going to seem as if I wasn’t taking my house hunt seriously? The things that I want in my first home are none of the things that anyone ever asks for on House Hunters. I’m not a fancy person. I asked for the following:

  • Hardwood floors (okay, I know that’s on the requisite House Hunters list)
  • 2+ bedrooms
  • Natural light
  • Certain neighborhoods, mainly to be closer to my job/everything, but also because I don’t want to live in the district where I work
  • A window in the bathroom
  • A window over the kitchen sink
  • A yard so I can plant things and have a hammock
  • No basements (basements freak me out and they seem to ask for trouble)

That was all I asked for. Probably the easiest list a realtor has ever had to work with. As simple as this list seems, there were big reasons why I asked for what I did. I like houses with character, and hardwood floors = character. I also enjoy area rugs. I want a lot of natural light because I am a plant geek. I have a jade, 2 plumeria, 2 avocados that I’m waiting to grow roots, a serious pathos, and a struggling sanseveria. I’ve officially run out of window space in my apartment. I WANT a pitcher plant, indoor herbs, a hanging plant in every room including a passion flower plant, and just more plants. Wanting a window in the bathroom comes from my first apartment in New Jersey, where I grew to appreciate having the window bring in some fresh air to what is often a damp space. I also have fond memories of the window in our bathroom in Seaside Park, NJ, and hearing the voices of the barbershop quartet singing at Charlie’s while I washed off a day of sun and sand. I grew up in a house with a window over the kitchen sink, and I used to enjoy doing the dishes while I watched what was going on in the neighborhood. I’ve never had my own yard in my life, having always lived in condos and 2 family homes that didn’t include yard space. I want to grow flowers in the style reminiscent of the yard Leigh kept in Seaside. I want to plant hydrangeas and attempt to grow a lilac in North Carolina. I want to have a hammock so I can lay outside in the summer and read while I sip limeade with fresh mint. Oh, that’s the dream. A simple dream, but it is my own. When you get ready to sit down with a realtor and share what you want in a home, don’t be shy about your list. A home is the biggest investment of your life. Just because everyone is looking for granite countertops and open floor plans doesn’t mean you have to. If all it takes for you to be happy is feeling the breeze while you brush your teeth, so be it. My realtor accepted my list and she has shown me many houses that meet my requirements. In my next post, I’ll share all the homes I’ve fallen in and out of love with, and my thoughts on how I’ll be able to tell when it’s real. Until then, thank you for reading.

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