How many bedrooms are there? Sure. I still attend open houses and, upon seeing a small, sunshiney room, think "This would make a great office!" But the number of decent-sized bedrooms is now nonnegotiable, due to our need for a nursery as well.
Can we hunker down here? At the moment, we're looking at houses that have at least three bedrooms, and a good amount of storage. While we intend for this to be a starter home, we want to be able to expand our family even if we're not yet ready to move to larger digs. When Family Grows Faster Than Your Bank Account
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How's the school system? Back in high school, I hung out with a motley crew of band geeks, drug dealers, and other miscreants... and I turned out OK! So I'm of the mind that, at least to an extent, school is what you make of it. This doesn't stop me from poring over standardized test scores and college attendance statistics, however.
Is the neighborhood safe? On our way to one open house, we drove through a neighborhood that had empty, boarded-up storefronts, and homes with locked gates and bars on the windows. Just knowing that the town we were heading to bordered a higher-crime area made us nervous, despite the gorgeous Victorians on offer.
Can we turn to our families in times of need? My husband and I are both extremely close to our parents, so moving farther away definitely causes some level of anxiety. Still, I'd be totally up for it if only I wasn't worried about needing their parenting advice (and, um, babysitting services). The mommy thing? I'm a complete novice.
Is it us? With everything there is to consider, we still need to take each other into account. Is there enough room for me to have a dedicated work space? Is the commute to NYC doable? Will I have room to cook? Does he get his man cave?
Can we see ourselves there, as both a family and as individuals?
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Compromises are inevitable as you draw the line between wants and needs. What were your non-negotiables while house hunting, and how did you find the "perfect" home? The Thermostat War, And 6 More Silly Compromises