Home Hunting: What’s important to you?

costal, homes, californiaMy next adventure? Looking for a new place to live with Paul.  The apartment we have now is fine, but we want a little more room for visitors.  I’ve been through this chore, but never with a significant other.  I have to remember to ask him what he thinks about a place. But there are a few things everyone should take into account when deciding where to live.  I’ve come up with six because that’s all I could think of, but I am certain there are more…

  1. Distance from work.  I don’t know about you, but commuting is for suckers. Sitting in the car for more than 20 minutes is not something I want to do on a regular basis.  This means our search radius is about 10 miles or so, depending on freeway/highway configurations.  Of course, the closer in you are to a downtown central business district core, the more you will pay.  While we might get more for our money out in the far reaches of the ‘burbs, we will also be further away from my office.
  2. Grocery stores.  Seriously, if you live near a sucky grocery store, you know how important this condition is.  For years I lived close to a crappy grocery store.  Never again!  I want to shop without having to dodge stock. I want to be able to get what I want and not stare at empty shelves!  I want to be able to browse an olive bar even if I will never actually purchase anything from it.
  3. Vibe. This isn’t something you can necessarily describe because it’s just a feeling.  Do you feel at home when you are in the place? Do you feel safe walking to your car? Are there kids around who need to get off your lawn? Is there a random barking dog that hasn’t stopped in the last 15 minutes? Do you like the way the light comes into the living space? Can you hear the people on the sidewalk talking about their shih tzu? Do you want to even be there?  Some of these things aren’t deal breakers, but they might be things that push your decision one way or the other.
  4. Parking. If you have ever lived in a place with limited to no parking, you know how important this item can be.  Is there a garage? Is there plenty of street parking? Is there a lot? Where can visitors park? Having lived in San Francisco where it was a dog eat dog parking world, I refuse to go through that again and don’t want to worry about where to put my car after having been away from home.
  5. Amenities. I hate having to use a common laundry facility. I will do it if I have to, but I prefer having my own washer and dryer. It sucks not being able to do laundry whenever I want. No one is going to inhibit my ability to have clean underwear! Plus, it’s already a chore. Who wants to lug their dirty clothes up and down three flights of stairs? Also, we must have air conditioning.  In California, it had to be central or I wouldn’t live there.  Here in the Twin Cities, I think we can survive with the in wall/window kind.
  6. Floor plan. I want a place that is big enough to have Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t mean hosting 20 people in a grand affair, but being able to have eight people sit at the same table would be nice.  You know, like a grown up.  Also, no more than two bathrooms.  As my grandmother says, if you have three bathrooms, one is always dirty.  But one bathroom in a home is way too few.  We could survive with one, but I’d rather pay for the convenience. It will be worth every cent.

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