If all goes as planned, two weeks from now we'll have bought our first house.
Wow. Letting that sink in. How did it get here so fast?
Now, this certainly hasn't been completely smooth sailing, with a few loan issues. Apparently, having a job that starts in August makes it nearly impossible to get a loan with said job in March. Thankfully, though our realtor we were put in touch with a loan officer who has been able to make the numbers work for us, so we can still hopefully buy a home over spring break. Our budget has to be a little lower, but we should still easily be able to afford a nice home.
With that in mind, I thought I'd make a virtual list of some of the top ten qualifications that we're looking for! This is, of course, a wish list, and we're not planning on finding a home that will fit everything perfectly. Hopefully, though, we will find the home that is the perfect fit for us. (All picture below are from real homes in our search area that are on the market, courtesy of Trulia.com.)
1. Lots of natural light:
Living in a home that is constantly dark right now, I can't wait to use the sunny days of Arizona to their best advantage with plenty of windows (preferably in a north/south exposure home).
2. Two stories, and a decent looking exterior
Yes, I know one story makes more sense in a hot climate, but I've always dreamed of a two story home. Plus, I have the, I'm sure, irrational reasoning that scorpions will be more often found on ground floors, so I'll be just a little safer sleeping up a level :).
This might seem out of place in a hot climate, but those 7 months a year when it's not really hot, it does cool down in the evening. This is another thing that we've longed for living in our apartment and would love to have, even if it isn't lit all that often.
4. Hardwood floors
These aren't incredibly popular in Arizona (tile is much more in) and wouldn't be a bit deal to install later, so it definitely isn't on our must list, but it would be a great perk.
5. Dining Room
I'd love to have an "official" dining room space in our new house separate from the kitchen. In our current place, eating in the kitchen is not so fun when you have people over, and the mess from the meal is right there next to you.
6. On that topic, a large(r) kitchen
This has to be one of our biggest needs. It doesn't have to be updated or particularly fancy, it just needs to be big enough for multiple people to be in there at the same time without running into one another. I'd especially like an island :).
7. 4ish bedrooms
We'd really like this house to fit our family the whole time we're in Arizona, so 4 bedrooms would be perfect: master, office, and two guest rooms/future family member rooms.
8. Laundry Room
I've made a lot of big promises that once we get a house with a washer and dryer, I will be much more helpful in the laundry department. I can't wait to do laundry without quarters anytime I need to, not just every other week!
9. A nice sized shower in the master bath
I would rather not have a tub and have a big shower than have both for this room. Again, doesn't need to be updated or fancy, just needs to be the right size.
10. A nice outdoor space, with a pool (we think!)
We're so excited to have a backyard that can be lived in 7 months of the year. We're planning lots of grilling, dinners outside, and lounging by the pool with a good book (during the winter of course :) ).
And, a nice view wouldn't be bad either!
For those of you with home renting/buying experience, any advice? Anything not on our list that you think is key for a home? Anything on our list you wouldn't want? Do tell!