Buying a farm – House wish list

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:

  1. Potential
  2. Traditional farmhouse look
  3. Useable basement (Matt’s biggest priority)
  4. Wood burning fireplace or the potential to have one
  5. At least 2,000 square feet
  6. Generous-sized rooms
  7. 3 bedrooms
  8. 2 bathrooms
  9. No pool

And here’s what we ended up choosing:

The house

Our new farmhouse.

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.

Living room

A great, large, bright living room open to the kitchen with a vaulted ceiling and plenty of room for lots of comfy furniture.

Living room fireplace

A stone-faced wood burning fireplace.

Cold cellar

A cold cellar (not a necessity, but I grew up with one of these, and they're kind of hard to add-on once a house is finished. I'm glad I have one of my own now). And yes, Matt shops with the apocalypse in mind.

Main bathroom

A huge main bathroom with double sinks, a huge vanity and tons of storage. (The cracked sink, 1970s tile, painted paneling on the walls and Care-Bear-colour-palette on the counter top are examples of potential.)

On the compromise side of things, there were two major things I compromised on. Here’s the first:

Yes, this is our lovely indoor pool (and Matt on home inspection day demonstrating how to hold your breath in imaginary water).

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…

Our house

… could become something like this?

Someday farmhouse

Original image available here (I made a few edits)

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!

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5 thoughts on “Buying a farm – House wish list

  1. I love the vision! I also think your home has lots of potential. That lovely open living room with the vaulted ceiling is great, and so is the fireplace. That pool…ack! What do you think you’ll do with it?

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