Help us decide!
We have owned a small starter home (1100 sq. ft) in a fine neighborhood for 11 years. We've been wanting to move for a few years, and have been looking. We'd like a slightly larger house (2200 sq ft.?) and a lot more land (I garden, we grow a lot of our food).
We are in stable jobs, but our house criteria are very specific, so we haven't been in a hurry. We like contemporary houses, and what is in this area are more like colonials, victorians, etc. So we'd have to find a generic house (ranch, etc.) and redo it.
We also need sun in the yard for the garden, and many of the neighborhoods have mature oaks, hickories, etc. If it's on a neighbor's yard, you can do nothing about it, and many, many houses have been rejected due to the trees being in the wrong place (i.e., the north side would be great, as they wouldn't shade the yard much).
We also need to be near a public transportation stop, and are sensitive to noise, so are avoiding houses near or on busy roads.
We're well aware that this may take some time, and are more or less in no hurry. We're now in year 3 of looking, and have a place we've put an offer on, have had the inspection, and now are reconsidering. Talking to others has helped, and so has reading these threads, so I thought I'd throw out my own.
The house is slightly larger than we want/need (2800-3100 sq ft., we've seen both numbers). But a great piece of land. Neighborhood is great, but more suburban/distant neighbors than we're used to, so it feels odd to us. Neighbors on both sides are very nice, though.
House is old but in decent shape internally, though needs a new roof sooner than later, which we hadn't planned on doing until later. We'd planned with an architect to do the living spaces first (including mechanicals, electric, getting things up to code), then bed/bath areas, then roof.
Also, the bathrooms are from 1951, which was charming at first glance, but less so after the inspection (can we live with semi-functional toilets for 3 years? Or fix them?).
Also the cost - its difficult to get a real idea of a budget when it's not your house yet and there are no firm renovation plans, but we've taken high estimates, added to that, etc. and it will just stretch us for about 2 years. We think.
We're in our mid 40's, no kids. I know it's ultimately our decision but we keep going back and forth (especially after the roof).