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What I look for in a house

Once again, it's been awhile and I must say I have no excuse other than it has been exhausting to exist in this house. It's been just about two years since we picked up and moved into this new project and as I now sit in my usable although completely undecorated office (floor plans on trace and vellum serve as my current window treatments) I am marveling at the simple miracle of having green grass in the backyard. For the first year we had a gigantic swimming pool that was home to hundreds of frogs, a daily lunch spot for a family of ducks and the favorite brunch spot for the local blue heron. The second year brought a dirt field and now finally green grass! It has been and continues to be a long haul, even as I write this I can hear the clinking of tile going up in the master bathroom, which has now been without a toilet for a year and completely non-functional since late January.

Most people I know never saw this house before, those who did know how far we have come, but most people just ask me how and what I saw that made me know. How could I see past the 70's paneling and mirrors, the funky painted bathrooms and the purely 1960's brick exterior. How could I get over the mouse stench and the massive overgrown shrubbery?

My answer is simply three things:

1. Location- it is right where I wanted to be

2. Layout and flow- the major spaces made sense, were the right size, and had the amount of openness that I wanted.  Sure, we made a few adjustments as to the use of different rooms. I decided that what they used as the family room made more sense as a dining room and then I combined two smaller rooms to make a great family room, but the plumbing made sense where it was and the bigger spaces all worked as I wanted them to. Also this house had the amount of space we needed, sure we can add on and yes we looked at ranches that we could put a second floor onto but working within the existing shell is so much easier for us. 

3. Light- This one was a little harder to determine with this house with all the overgrown shrubs but I knew which way was north and then could figure out what trees would come out  and leave open spaces for light to come in. Also, looking at the sight lines throughout the interior of the house helps. For example, if you stand in the dining room (those windows face north and east so not the best for light) but there is a big opening to the living room that has a massive western facing window which makes tons of beautiful afternoon light. 

The house the day of our inspection (there were snowshoes involved)

sceond floor bath- everything that looks like white tile is actually lavender tile painted white with flat paint and yes the tub is strangely shoved into the wall and in the middle of the bathroomThe kitchen was "updated" in the late 90's when the house first went on the market. All appliances are original 1966 , the cabinets were refaced and the countertops replaced. Believe it or not the kitchen was one of the better rooms when we moved in.the master bath, this was the other "renovated room"fireplace in the family room (our dining room). the walls were wood paneled with painted textured wall paper overa hall of mirrors to go with the living room of mirrors, dining room of mirrors, and basement of mirrorsStay tuned and I 'll show you how far we've come and how very far we have to go!!!!


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