Now that Dan is back to work and we're starting to settle into life here in Sussex (side note: if you would have known me 10 years ago, you would know that I would have NEVER said I'd be back in Sussex!), we're starting to seriously think about buying our first home. I've been stalking MLS and the local listings for years now, long before we physically lived in town, but yesterday I actually went to my first house viewing, just to get an idea of what to expect. I think I may have started out a bit too large though, since the house above is the one I went to see and I fell in love with it right off the bat!
You see, I love OLD houses. I don't know if it's because I grew up in one or because I've always been into older/antique things over modern ones, but there's something wonderful about a home that has real character, that has seen many people pass through it, that has stood the test of time, and that brings you back to when things were different...I just love it. I love it despite the many challenges that older homes present, because to me the goods far outweigh the bads. So anyway, after seeing this house it got me thinking about my 'short list' of what I'm looking for in a home (Dan is far less choosy, but he has a few requirements too, so they are included in the list.)
Ideally, my/our dream home would have:
*Age (ideally it would be at least 60 years old, or older...my parents' house is about 100!)
*Lots of natural light (plenty of windows with nothing blocking the light from getting in)
*Wood (if painted white even better!)
*Space (though it doesn't have to be enormous, the rooms can be smaller)
*An upstairs and downstairs
*A decent sized kitchen (doesn't have to be eat-in, but it would be nice)
*At least 3 bedrooms
*All the majors up to date (roof, foundation, furnace, etc)
*Somewhere to put the computer that's out of the way (I'm done with this computer-in-the-bedroom/living room/hallway crap!)
*A possible separate office space for myself (though not necessary)
*A possible garage or back room for Dan's instruments (though not necessary)
*Some land (not a ton, but we need a large yard for the kids and a garden at the very least)
*No neighbours (this is more Dan's request than mine)
*A few luxuries (a fireplace or large deck or something similar)
A few things that our dream home DOESN'T need:
*Multiple bathrooms (we're very used to having just one, and a small one at that!)
*New anything really!
*Perfect paint colours
*to be move-in ready
I also want my home to be somewhere in which I'll want to spend my time (since I'm a homebody), in which I can decorate for the seasons, see raising my kids comfortably, somewhere that will be cozy but still kind of grand, and in which I will finally, finally feel truly at home.
So anyway, back to the house above. It met a lot of the criteria; tons of space, 3 bedrooms, 3(!) bathrooms-one with the original clawfoot tub-a decent sized kitchen with a pantry, dining room, living room w/fireplace, den, large mudroom-possible-office, 2 staircases (I grew up with a 'servant's staircase' that went into the kitchen and I LOVED it), a huuuge wrap around covered veranda (look at it!), a large backyard...it has pretty much everything.
Not to say it was perfect though. There is a lot of cosmetic and even non-cosmetic work that could be done (including tearing down the rickety attached woodshed and carriage house, and some major landscaping), but the nice thing is that none of it would need to be done right away. I also like the idea of a house that you continually get to work on (seriously, what do people do with those brand new homes that need no work?!) The other not-so-great thing about it is that although the location is very convenient in many ways (it's about a 2 minute walk from the school and right downtown), our neighbours are quite close. In a perfect world this house would be situated just outside of town on a few acres of land, but that isn't the case. Still, I love it...but as my mom said, I need to look at several houses before deciding on which one is for us, I can't buy the first house I see without looking around!
So this is the beginning of what may be a long house-hunting journey (we probably won't move until the Spring at the earliest). I may blog about other houses we see, but this first one definitely left a mark on me so I thought I would mention it.
And, of course, one of the most exciting things about owning your own home is decorating it! So I'll leave you with some pretty pictures of "modern country" homes that I thought would suit my style and the style of the house above.
[broken link-no source]
[This kitchen is actually very similar to the one in the house we saw, the cabinets are painted white wood and there's a double window above the sink...sigh. source]
I've been so bad at blogging and keeping up lately, Victor has had a cold all this week so he's been hard to get down for naps, which means a lot of extra time in mama's arms. I really need to come back soon and do Victor's 6/7 month update though, I can't fall more behind than I already am!
Be back soon I hope!