(Closed) House Hunting List

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 4
1849 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We’ve moved into our dream place already, but here’s the ol’ list

Must haves: 

  • Great kitchen 
  • 2 car garage (MN winters – brrrrrrrr) 
  • Yard (I desperately wanted a dog)
  • Large windows and spacious layout
  • Absolutely NO HOA! (I’ve read way too many horror stories)
  • Close to work for him and bus station for me 


  • 3 bedrooms 
  • kitchen island
  • vaulted ceilings (the only one we didn’t get to check off) 
  • corner lot

I think that was it 🙂

Post # 6
999 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Our must haves were.

  • Kitchen
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 2 Baths
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Fenched Backyard
  • Near School, Work and grandparents
  • 2 Car Garage

Ended buying our home with all the above plus

  • Patio
  • Family Room in basement
  • Wet bar for entertaining
  • and Tons of closet space.

Home prices are so low we jumped on it.



Post # 7
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We were shopping for our forever home. Our “Must Have” list was:

  • 3 bedrooms plus an office
  • 2.5 bathroom
  • western part of our county
  • lots of land and a secluded, country feeling
  • colonial or contemporary style
  • large kitchen
  • formal dining room
  • MBR suite
  • mancave space
  • decent ceiling height in the basement
  • solid construction and no major repairs needed
  • foyer
  • good entertaining flow for the main floor
  • under $500,000

Our “Nice to Have” list was:

  • Attached 2 car garage (got it)
  • Back deck or patio (got it)
  • Big master bathroom (nope)
  • 2 walk-in closets in the Master (nope)
  • 10 ft ceilings (or higher) (nope)
  • dual fuel stove/oven (nope)
  • upgraded, energy efficient appliances (nope)
  • fireplace (got it)
  • gas heating system (nope)
  • hardwood floors throughout (only on the main level)

We knew that our under $500k budget wasn’t going to get up a house with nice finishes or anything fancy in this area. It was initially hard to make peace with that fact, but it is what it is. When you are trying to stay under $500k in an area that typically starts at $600k, you can’t be too snobby.


Post # 8
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

Are you looking for your first/starter home? Or forever home?  Do you have a slim budget for your area or a decent one?  I think people’s list are adjusted for that.

We were shopping for our first home.  We know theres a chance we’d be in it longer than the standard five years so we needed to like it enough for that.  Plus for our budget we were tight.  We were extremely flexible and most of the homes were one of two layouts.


  • 3 bedrooms
  • 1,000+sqft
  • driveway
  • gas heating
  • central air
  • basement or garage
  • staright thru layout (must for me not him)
  • decent street
  • good outdoor space
  • move in ready with minimal issue


  • 1.5 baths
  • older turn of the century home
  • natural hardwood floors (not an issue since most had it under the carpet)
  • 2nd level deck instead of ground level patio

I didn’t get my straight thru, still super upset about it.  We have a basement where the garage was knocked out to expand it so now theres extremely limited storage space.  No half bath either or old cute home.

Post # 9
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We are in our dream house, but I’ll play. 

Must Have:

  • 2,000+ sq ft
  • Colonial
  • 2 car garage
  • Gas heat 
  • Full basement 
  • Quiet street
  • West of 95
  • Within 30 mins of FI’s job
  • Yard sloped away from house
  • 1990+
  • Minimal work required

Preferred List: 

  • Finished basement (nope)
  • Walkout basement (got it) 
  • Fenced yard (partially)
  • Big yard (nope)
  • Community amenities (got it- pool, tennis courts, jogging paths)
  • 2,500+ sq ft (mega got it)
  • Separate tub and shower for master (got it)
  • Granite countertops (nope)
  • Hardwood floors (nope- only the foyer)
  • Two story foyer (got it)
  • Two story living room (nope)
  • Deck (got it)
  • Regular sale (got it)

Post # 10
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Ive got my perfect house, but here goes


2 bedrooms (Yep)

1.5 bathrooms (2 full baths)

Big Kitchen (yep)

Large bath with stand up shower and garden tub (yep)

walk in closets (yep)

built in pantry (yep)



Tiny yard (yep)

Round edged countertops (yep)

Low price ($500)

Carport or garage (no, our lot doesnt allow for it)

No natural gas or propane anything (yep)



Post # 11
1660 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011


“Must Haves”

  • 4 bedrooms, with at least 3 being good sized
  • 2.5+ bathrooms
  • 2000+ sq ft
  • 2 car garage
  • large kitchen
  • kitchen open to family room
  • flat plaster ceilings (no heavily textured ceilings)
  • full basement
  • flat backyard
  • at least a semi-private yard, or the option to make it private w/ landscaping
  • option to fence backyard
  • not too much mowing required
  • quiet street
  • enough storage space
  • central air
  • decent sized master bath
  • bathtub somewhere in the house


“Wish list”

  • hardwood floors
  • finished basement
  • walk-out basement
  • fireplace
  • tub and shower in master bath
  • gas stove
  • laundry room on upper or main level
  • nice deck or screened in porch
  • high ceilings
  • fenced yard
  • clu-de-sac
  • street with sidewalks
  • vaulted ceiling in FR
  • updated kitchen
  • updated bathrooms
  • new(er) roof & windows
  • nice molding/woodwork

Post # 12
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@AB Bride:  It’s not so much the fees (although that sucks) as it is (as I understand, as we don’t have HOAs here) the power that they think they can exert over you. Some of them can be insane as far as rules go.

Must haves:
–  3 bedrooms
– 1000+ sq ft.
– Decent backyard
– Full basement
– Central air
– Garage
– 3 bedrooms
– 1.5 bathrooms
– Closet space
– Decent kitchen (as far as counter and cabinet space)
– Detached home (no condos/duplexes/etc.)
– Preferably not a ton of work to be done (we’ve seen some pretty awful we-really-loved-that-tile-in-1964-and-never-updated-it houses, as well as some, um, “custom” tile that’s awful and was all. over. the house…like, the ENTIRE bathroom/bathtub/vanity/walls/kitchen/hallway floor/above the fireplace was COVERED in this ugly country-style tile crap)
– Matching appliances (same color, at least) made in the last 10 years (we found a house that had a decent kitchen with nicer appliances…and a refrigerator that I couldn’t even begin to imagine which decade it’s from)

– Master suite (preferably with a tub and not a stand up shower)
– 2-car garage
– Shed
– Fence (preferably 6′ privacy)
– 4-5 bedrooms
– 2.5 bathrooms
– Finished basement
– Sun room
– Kitchen island
– Fireplace
– All-black, newer appliances
– Vaulted ceilings
– Double vanity in the master bath

Unfortunately, a lot of our wants aren’t going to happen unless we get really lucky. There was a perfect house that we loved that was for sale for really cheap (foreclosure), but it finally sold last week. Seriously, this house was 2000+ sq ft, 5 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, sun room, 2 fire places (one in the master bedroom!), master suite, two Trex decks (one was off the master!), nice fenced in yard, 2 car garage…sigh. 

Post # 13
1849 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@AB Bride:  The fees are actually the part I was least worried about. The scariest part is that an HOA can initiate the foreclosure process on a resident who has somehow broken their rules. Some of the stories I read involved someone being foreclosed on because of building a 4 ft 2 in fence where 4 ft was the permitted max, and another couple being sued because the HOA wanted them to do some sort of landscaping on their yard, and they were a month behind. They usually take you to court if there’s a disupute, and however weird the rule, if it’s written somewhere and you agreed to it by buying, you will probably lose. 

But they’re not all evil, some are just stupid. I’ve also read about HOAs that never manage to save the dues they collect monthly, so when the community suddenly faces a large expense, they have to sharply increase fees while not making the repairs until everyone has paid up. 

The most compelling argument I’ve heard against them is that there’s no minumum qualifier to be a part of one. The people involved are volunteers. So as much good as could be done with this set-up in the hands of person who’s great with managing money and a business, who makes great decisions and rules fairly, I’m guessing they’re already busy heading some other company by day and relaxing by night. This person will not be the one managing your money. The ones left with nothing important to do will. 

I know these are probably all extreme situations, but there sure are a lot of them out there… I couldn’t live with knowing how much I was paying to give someone else the chance to sue me and the legal ability to foreclose on me, all while not letting me have a say in absolutely anything. 

Post # 14
2424 posts
Buzzing bee

We won’t buy for another 8 months or so but we’ve been going to open houses every Sunday just to see what’s out there. Darling Husband and I both LOVE older homes and HATE ranches. Luckily we’re on the same page.

We are also completely open to renovating. In fact I fell in love with a house that needs about $50,000 in renovations. Once it is redone the house would be worth about $60-70,000 more than it is on the market. Darling Husband said if it is still available about February we can put an offer on it.

Good neighborhood
Two stories
3 bedrooms
2 full bathrooms
Large yard
Two-car garage 
Central air

NOT in a subdivision
Old home (don’t like new construction)
Seperate diving room 
Master bathroom
Fenced in yard
At least 1,800 square feet 
Large deck/patio
Place for workshop
Finished basement 

Post # 15
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

We bought a starter home a few years ago.

Must Haves:

Yard- More than .25 acres (seems very little but land is hard to come by here)

Location- Being on a low traffic street in a great neighborhood was more important than the actual house.

3 Bedrooms

1.5+ Baths

Garage or Basement for Storage

Min 1,200 sq ft

Bathroom on Main Floor



Central Air

Gas Heat

Our must haves list got much smaller after seeing 100+ houses and putting location and yard before everything else. After we purchased the home, we took out the paneling, replaced rugs with hardwood, remodeled bathrooms, new electrical, new plumbing, and installed a fence.


Post # 16
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

This is the list we sent to our realtor when we started searching.

We kept our “must haves” very basic.  We viewed it like this: If everything about the house was absolutely perfect but it didn’t have ___________, we would turn it down.  Our “like to haves” was more a list of “we want the house to have some of these items but if it doesn’t have all of them, that is fine”.

We got every “must have” AND every “like to have” and more.

Must Haves:

  • 3 bedroom minimum
  • 2 bathroom minimum
  • Yard with the ability to be fenced in
  • Minimun of 2200 sq. ft.
  • Bathroom on main level

Wants / Like to Haves:

  • Basement (finished or unfinished)
  • Updated kitchen
  • Kitchen island
  • More square footage
  • Multi-story
  • Hardwood floors
  • Open floorplan
  • Garage
  • Deck in backyard
  • Walk-in closets in master
  • Duel sinks in master

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