Recently, we decided to go on the hunt. The house hunt. It’s not a new idea, but one we’ve been entertaining over the last year or so. When we first moved into our current home, our kids were young. And, let’s face it, little kids need space. Oversized legos, baby dolls, bouncy balls, foam bats and bowling pins, a trunk of dress up clothes, a mat that goes on the floor that looks like a racetrack, play kitchens and 300 plastic dishes and fake food to go with it. Stuff. It’s what babies and small children are made of. But our once young kiddos are now 10 and 12 years old.
Over the last few years, the play dishes and oversized child-safe toys have been replaced with books, televisions, i-pods, and game systems – all of which take up very little space. Even our large backyard, which was hugely important to us when we moved in here, has become almost obsolete. Little kids need room to run around – inside and outside – but as they grow and mature, “playing in the yard” becomes a thing of memories. Sure, our dogs still love the mass amount of area to roam, but they could live with less. With one dog pushing old age, and the other being a couch potato, we’re pretty sure they’ll survive without the big backyard.
We started our hunt much like everyone else: online. We checked out realtor.com and did searches on what we wanted – or what we thought we wanted. We started watching HGTV, and in an unexpected twist, my husband fell in love with The Property Brothers (pictured below)
and the show House Hunters. We have since been watching hours worth of these shows, but I have to admit it’s all very interesting. One of the main things that we’ve noticed about the people on these shows, is that they always want more space. Phrases like, Chef’s kitchen, double car garage, and large backyard were the norm. Sometimes to a ridiculous level. I can’t tell you how many episodes of House Hunters we’ve watched, where a couple (that’s 2 people, who supposedly share a bedroom) will state that they must have at least four bedrooms. Our question was always, why? But we figured each of those couples had their reasons, and yet it was kind of a foreign concept to us, since we were looking for the opposite. We were looking for smaller, manageable, and something that would give us some divided space from the kids for privacy, but would still keep us close enough to not lose track of each other. In our current home, it can be quite the trek just to find the person you’re looking for. Lots of rooms, and floors, and doors to walk through. Lots of the unneeded.
But despite our wanting to smaller rather than bigger, we have found the HGTV shows to be rather helpful. They’ve served to be a sort of refresher course on things we should be looking for, and things to be wary of. We started building a list of homes we thought could fit us, and off we went. But, after a few weekends worth of touring homes with our realtor, we quickly realized that everything we were seeing was just too big. It was too much space, and space was something we were trying to get rid of.
With our kids quickly approaching teenager-hood and eventually independence, we were specifically looking for a home that would suit both now and in the future. We wanted something functional, but also something that wouldn’t feel empty after our kids are grown and gone. It was an easy decision to quickly ditch looking at single family homes, and focus our attention on the smaller category, affectionately listed as: townhouse/row house/condo. Here, we found a simpler way of living. Smaller rooms, less wasted space, energy efficient, low yard maintenance, an HOA to handle all the big outside house repairs and snow removal in the winter times. There were even small, manageable backyards for the dogs. It sounded perfect, and it didn’t take long to find a row house that we both fell in love with.
We made an offer, and the next day it was accepted.
So now, we’re on the move. We’re finishing up paperwork, and starting to pack. We’ll have significantly less space in the new place, so we’re having to sort through furniture and knickknacks and decide what we’re taking and what we’re casting aside/giving away. It’s exciting to think about getting back to basics, and cutting away all this extra stuff we’ve accumulated over the last 8 years of raising our children from toddlers to pre-teens. I think, in a way, this space has outgrown us. It’s important to find what fits you and your family the best. Bigger isn’t always better, and a property’s worth isn’t always in how many bathrooms you have or the amount of square-footage. Your home becomes another part of your family – a member in its own right, so whether it’s big and glamorous, small and cozy, or somewhere in between, choose it wisely.
A picture of the new place – can’t wait till we go to closing next month 😀
We are loooong past due an opportunity to get rid of extra stuff. Trust me, buying a house with lots of storage space is a trap.
Our storage space at the new house is going to be super limited. Which I’m ok with – just means we have to watch what we keep. And I totally agree on the “trap” part! Our house now is like that, way too big and full of junk we really don’t need.