10 things we are looking for in our first home

If you know Seth and I, you know that we have started looking for our first home (sort of). We have been keeping an eye on the housing market, getting an idea of what we are looking for, and doing lots and lots of research. I've talked to custom home builders, production home builders, and have done lots of independent research on financing, size, location, cost, and pretty much everything there is to do with buying a home.

Here are some specific things we're looking for, and some things that are bugaboos for me (some are sort of quirky, and I'm aware of that).

1) Not too big, but not too small.

At one point, I was all gung-ho for a 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom, 5,000-square-foot house for our first - and only - home. But then I realized how 1) financially irresponsible and 2) wasteful that was (for us). We just don't need that much space! What we need to do is focus on paying off our student loans and take our time working up to our 'dream home'. Lower utility bills, a more sustainable and reasonable home…that's what we're looking for when it comes to our first home.

2) Three bedrooms, two bathrooms

Seth and I currently live in a 600-square-foot, one bedroom, one bathroom apartment. And let me tell you - especially post-wedding - it ain't enough space. There is a strong possibility I'm going to need a home office, and that we will have kids in the not-so-distant future. We're looking for three bedrooms for that reason, because it will allow us enough space for those things without a bunch of extra space that we don't need right now. We'd also like two bathrooms (preferably two and a half!) so our guests/kids have somewhere to themselves and because - GASP! - we plan to cloth diaper. Ain't nobody got time fo' diaper sprayers on the master toilet.

3) Lots and lots of kitchen storage

My husband loves to cook. He cooks almost every night. Thus, he has tons of crazy kitchen gadgets, tons of spices, marinades, tools, etc. We also got all the place settings of dinnerware, dining goods, and table decor we registered for when we got married (almost two years ago!) so we are going to need a pretty decently-sized kitchen to store all that good stuff.

4) A kitchen island

I realize this is probably weird. I guess maybe it's because I grew up in a low-income family and have never actually lived in a "house", but I think kitchen islands are ridiculously convenient. To be able to turn around and put down bowls, dishes, whatever else and turn back around to the sink or stove to cook - I know this is crazy, but houses without kitchen islands are sort of a deal-breaker for me.

5) Open floor plan

Being able to chat with Seth while he's cooking would be so convenient. I currently stand in the kitchen doorway chatting with him half the time while he's cooking, but it would be nice to hang out in the living room, blogging, studying, and in the future taking care of our kids while still being able to communicate with him while he's in there. Obviously, it would also be nicer for entertaining so people could all mingle and no one was trapped in kitchen jail. ;)

6) Carpets upstairs

Seth loves him some carpet. He even wants carpet in the great room, but I like wood floors throughout the downstairs. What I don't love, though, is wood floors upstairs. SO. LOUD. I also don't like stepping onto a cold floor when I wake up. That sucks.

7) Separate laundry room

I have seen houses with washers and dryers in random other rooms, like the kitchen. That's not okay. Ours is currently in a closet-of-sorts. That's also not okay. We hang our laundry up in the bathroom and literally all over the apartment. NOT OKAY. I need space!

8) Master up

This is the house where we will probably have multiple babies and/or small children. It is just unfathomable to me to have a master downstairs, but kids upstairs, so we would have to be constantly running up and down the stairs to deal with their shenanigans. I know downstairs masters mean higher resale values, and running up and down the stairs all hours of the day and night would mean a sick workout….but that just sounds like a logistical nightmare to me.

9) More master bathroom storage/counter space

We currently have the typical 'apartment' bathroom - a tub/shower combo, sink with one cabinet underneath, you know the drill. It's just not enough space. We have a chest of drawers sitting outside our bathroom with all our toiletries, towels, etc. because our apartment doesn't have a linen closet. We need more storage for our normal, everyday, and arguably less-than-average amount of "stuff".

10) Not too much that needs done to it right away

I would rather buy a smaller home that is nicely updated and cared for than a huge house that needs a lot of work and/or styling. When I see homes listed with orange, red, or blue walls (or any other color that would be a nightmare to paint over) it is an immediate turnoff for me. I saw a house with red carpet today - NOPE. I just don't want to have to go in to our first home and do a metric ton of work, especially since most of our funds will be going toward buying the home in the first place!

We will probably still get our 'dream home' in a few years. We'd like to stay in this home until our first kiddo is getting ready to go to school, then build our dream home from the ground up, to our specifications (we have lots of dreams for exactly what we'd love to see in our dream home)! But that is another story to be told another time. :)


  1. These are fantastic! We had a lot of the same wants. Once we started looking at houses we got a better feel for what we wanted. We thought we wanted two stories, but ended up happily in a ranch. Things I would change if I could: laundry room in the garage. Doooooooont do it! Ever! I thought it would be great, because it's away from bedrooms and not waking anyone up, but nope! It's a terrible idea! Things don't dry because it's humid outside, and it heats my house up! Rah!

    I also wish I had a more open floor plan!

    Our house has a large kitchen, and we have a kitchen table, and I really dig it! I think an island would rock too, but we are working great with a table! :)

  2. Totally! We toured some model homes with laundry rooms just off the master, which I loooooved. My mom is convinced that a laundry room upstairs would be too noisy, but as a cloth-diapering family I'm thinking it might be better upstairs. ;)

  3. I do love kitchen islands, but in my opinion, we have the next best thing... A galley style kitchen. It doesn't matter which side of the kitchen you're working on, because when you turn around there's always more counter/surface behind you! It's not quite the open floor plan like some homes, but it actually works pretty well. And I luuuuurrve all the counter space.


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