My American Dream

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Unlike most little girls who grow up dreaming of their perfect wedding, I have always dreamt of my perfect tower. Since my financial circumstances do not allow for a Qu Tower (QT) at the moment, I thought a house would be a good compromise.

My therapist once told me that a way to stop comparing yourself with others (in my case, my romantic relationships with other people’s) is by knowing your negotiables and non-negotiables – things you are and aren’t willing to compromise on – based on your core values.

I applied the same principal to my home search criteria, and came up with the following list:

Must have

  • Single family house (no apartments)
  • Excellent school district (important factor for home value and resell)
  • Hardwood floors (carpet is gross – I’d remove it even if it’s new)
  • Manageable yard with privacy
  • At least 2 full bathrooms
  • 3-4 bedrooms
  • No swimming pool (huge liability for resell)
  • One-car garage
  • One bathtub (important for resell – kids take baths!)
  • Move-in ready (not looking for a fixer upper)

Nice to have

  • Good community amenities – close to a swimming pool
  • No HOA fee*
  • Less than 3,000 square feet
  • Gas stove
  • Colonial style with curb appeal
  • Recently renovated/remodeled
  • No lead-based paint (common in pre-1978 houses)
  • High ceiling
  • Natural light
  • Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  • Extra height counters for kitchen and master bathroom (I’m tall)
  • Minimal entryway and in-house stairs
  • Open kitchen with good amount of countertop space and storage
  • Electric fireplace
  • Crown molding
  • Finished, walk-out basement

*My agent explained that HOA-governed communities are generally well-maintained. Therefore, an HOA fee actually protects your home value, and can be considered a positive.

This list was helpful for two reasons:

  1. I presented it to all 12 real estate agents I interviewed, and asked them for their feedback and suggestions. More on agent selection in my next post.
  2. It allowed me to narrow my online search and quickly sift through all the listings using filters and alerts.

You might be surprised to learn that I have found a house after just a month and a half. I submitted an offer Friday evening (before the the 4th of July weekend), and it was accepted just before midnight on Friday. Looking back at this list, I can tell you this house has only 7.5 of the 10 must-have’s. And yet, I am absolutely in love with the house… despite not having seen it in person (don’t panic – I will explain in my next post). Funny how things work out 🙂

 

 

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