I previously wrote about feeling conflicted between choosing our dream home, versus choosing a good investment. We would normally tend towards the "smart" investment option and Purchase A Home With Great Resale Value. But since we were looking for our forever home, resale value just didn't seem as important to us. Of course, there are a lot of things that we want for our dream home that naturally overlap and we want to make a smart decision (I mean you never really know where you will be in 5 years). But when looking for our forever home, we decided to shift our focus to all the things we could dream that our new home would have.
When putting together our ultimate dream home wish list, we tried to "keep it real". Of course we would love that big white house on a tropical island with a huge front porch and sweeping ocean views that I wrote about here. But for now, that home only exists in a world where money is no object, our family and friends could all pack up and move with us and no one had to work (i will forever remain optimistic that this may one day be in our future).
But for now, keeping it real means thinking about the 7 essential considerations when purchasing a new home, mixed with all of the ultimate dream inclusions that would make the home work for us.
1. A Two Story Home
2. An Open Plan Living Area
I love a living area that is all open plan. I want to be in the kitchen and be able to interact with the family that are playing in the living area or sitting at the table. Child friendly sightlines and the airy and open feel is what I am truly after. I know this was something my mom always wanted in our families home growing up (there is nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen on your own while everyone else is in the living area) and I completely understand why.
3. A Spacious Open Kitchen
4. A Finished Basement
Growing up in South Africa, a basement was pretty much unheard of (especially in newer homes). But hubby grew up in a home with a huge basement and has wonderful memories of spending hours down there hanging out with friends and using it as their indoor playground.
For me, I love the idea of having an extra space, with a room and a bathroom, where family and friends who come to stay with us can feel comfortable and have the space they need. We are hopeful that our family and friends, who will often have a long way to travel, will spend extended vacations with us in our new home (hint-hint).
5. A Big Back Garden
We are a family that loves the outdoors. And a great outdoor space is a must. I would love to give a little vegetable garden another try (my first attempt was wholly unsuccessful), and plant lots of color in the garden.
I'm hoping for space to play and run around for children and a family dog (okay some of these things are hopeful future wishes) .
6. A Large Covered Back Porch
8. Walk in Closets
Its no secret that my closet is usually a mess. Despite my best efforts, I always seem to be in a rush, looking for something to wear. And in a small closet I inevitably land up pulling out all of my clothes to find that one pair of jeans that I know is in there somewhere.
I'm hoping for a nice big walk-in closet so that I can see where everything is and stay organized (or at least try to).
9. A Dream Spa-Like Bathroom
10. Easy Access to Parks and Trails
With our love for the outdoors, our ultimate dream home wish list has to include a place that is close to extensive parks and trails. We previously lived about a 10 minute drive from a great little nature reserve, where we would regularly spend a morning walking the nature trails, or having a picnic at the lake with all our friends and family. We absolutely loved this. If we could get to these trails and parks without even getting into the car, that would be a huge bonus.
Of course we realize that we won't get everything we want and there will be compromises. We need to decide on which of these ultimate dream home items are non-negotiable and which are nice to haves. But this list is a great tool as we start to look at which homes will work for us.