You already know what we were looking for when it came to the property. Now for the house.
Growing up in a custom built home and with a Dad that worked construction (and working construction so much myself), I always planned to build my own house. So initially, our search was just for the property. I wanted vacant land, a blank slate, something that I could make completely my own.
Unfortunately, on the type of property we were looking for, a blank slate meant we’d have a lot of extra costs: septic, well, hydro, driveway. Never mind the plans, permits and actual construction costs.
So, the criteria evolved. We decided we wanted a house with “potential.” I won’t go as far as saying we wanted a fixer-upper, because for me “fixer-upper” means major problems. I wanted something that I could put work into and make it into the dream house I’d always envisaged. Matt was just hoping we ended up with something we could actually live in, because there were a few along the way that were a little iffy.
So here’s the house wish list:
- Traditional farmhouse look
- Useable basement (Matt’s biggest priority)
- Wood burning fireplace or the potential to have one
- At least 2,000 square feet
- Generous-sized rooms
- 3 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- No pool
And here’s what we ended up choosing:
It soon became clear that a few of our criteria were at odds. Old farmhouses for the most part don’t come with useable basements or generous-sized rooms. I eventually realized I wanted the old fashioned farmhouse exterior with a new, built for the way people live today interior.
So when we found a 30-40 year old bungalow with many of the elements we were looking for on the perfect property, we decided it was the one.
The house is just a smidge under 2,000 square feet. It has three bedrooms and two full baths, lots of closets and a huge useable basement.
On the potential front, this might be a bit more of a fixer-upper than we hoped for (to-do list includes new heating/cooling system, new roof, adding insulation, upgrades to the well and water system and dealing with some weird electrical before we get to the “fun” stuff), but we still think we made a good choice.
On the compromise side of things, there were two major things I compromised on. Here’s the first:
So I didn’t want a pool in the first place, and now I have one in the house! As far as we’ve been able to determine, the pool has not been used (or filled) in at least 2 years. There are some issues with the equipment, and there may be some issues with the pool itself. We’re not sure exactly what we’re going to end up doing with this space, but suffice it to say that you probably shouldn’t plan on bringing your bathing suit when you come to visit.
The biggest compromise is on the traditional farmhouse look. But I think there’s a solution for that one too. Don’t you think this…
… could become something like this?
Can you see it?
Obviously, this is a very long term renovation plan we’re working with. Good thing this is our forever house. We’re going to need to be here for awhile!