May 10, 2009

What we're looking for in a house

We are planning ahead to buy a house in Colorado Springs!  It's not the first house we will own, but the last house we owned was pre-military, and we thought we were going to live there a lot longer than 3 years!  Well, we didn't.  We sold it using the methods found in the book, "How to Sell Your Home in 5 Days" and made a profit from the sale.  It was a situation blessed by God in many ways, because we then went debt-free into my husband starting Seminary to complete his M.Div., which was required to become an Army chaplain.

Now it's 5 years later, and we're ready to own again.  We expect to re-sell the house in 3 years, or if it seems more prudent to do so, rent it.  The house will be an investment, so we plan to buy it with a 15-year mortgage to have more of our payments going to principal, which means it won't be the most we can afford, but rather more middle-of-the-road.

So what are we looking for in this house?  Here is our list of "must haves":

Good bones - good strong structure.
4+ bedrooms
1+ car garage
2+ full bathrooms, one must be a master bath
Washer/dryer hookups in a laundry room (no laundry closets please)
A house we are confident will sell in 3 years
Livable basement (our first house had a cellar-type basement)
25 minutes or less drive away from Ft. Carson
Back yard suitable for our children to play in
Plenty of storage space
Adequate kitchen (we both love to cook)
Low/no maintenance windows/siding (we don't want to have to paint siding, or maintain wood-frame windows)
Good roof
Good insulation and efficiency (to keep energy costs down)

And here is our list of "would be nices":

2 car garage
5+ bedrooms
15-20 minute or less commute
Central Air
3+ bathrooms
Level lot
Office space
Gas appliances and heat
Not a split-level
Not a busy corner lot
Efficient water usage fixtures
Garden space

One side-note - we aren't highly concerned about the school district because we plan to homeschool.  That is a huge freedom that many families with children don't have when deciding where to live.

We've put a lot of thought into this, and have searched for such houses online through several venues.  Craigslist, the MLS, For Sale By Owner sites, etc.  There are actually several houses on the market that fit all our criteria and are in our price range.  Too bad we can't just hop over and check them out now.  So we'll see how God works things out - what will be on the market when we actually arrive July 1st.  Meanwhile, it's fun to look, and fine-tune our preferences!

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