(Closed) What were your non-negotiables when searching for a home?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
3943 posts
Honey bee


  • Location-It had to be in a specific area. Also needed to be in a neighborhood and not on a main road


  • Big yard-fenced in was a plus but not a deciding factor


  • 3+ bedrooms


  • basement-finished was a plus but something we were willing to do ourselves


  • good size kitcen-ours is outdated but the layout is good and it’s something we’ll update in the next few years


  • layout-we saw a couple houses with really awkward layouts

things we compromised on are:

  • closets-we have a lot but they are all small. Especially the master bedroom 🙁 but i have learned to make do


  • bathroom-we only have 1. but we have the space to add another in the future

things we love having but weren’t deciding factors:

  • a large back deck


  • tool room


  • woodstove/fireplace


 I think we were pretty flexible with ours. It’s our first home and we were/are willing to do lots of work to make the house just how we want it. When we are ready for our second/forever home i think our list will be a lot longer, because we arent going to want to do all this work again!

EDIT: whoa, i dont know why the spacing is so funky on that. sorry its so big!! (thats what she said?)

Post # 4
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011


at least 3 bedrooms

at least 2 bathrooms

decent closets

front porch (although we didn’t get this. We DID, however, make a nice area in the backyard to sit outside)


2 car garage

Good school district

Not a lot of work needed–we are not home much!

Post # 5
1438 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m really not pickey. But i have 3 items on my wish list


-Big backyard (doesnt have to be fenced in, but would be better if it was)

-atleast 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms

-2 car garage. 

I also love big back decks, but I’m not going to say no to a house just because it doesnt have one. 

Post # 6
5479 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Bostongrl25:  LOL, that IS what she said 😛


I didn’t have a lot of things I required.  There were plenty of things that would be nice, but not much would make me consider eliminating a house from our search.

Must haves: central air, off street parking

would be nice: fenced yard, deck, garage, driveway, flat yard, no/minimal stairs, come with appliances, recently renovated

Absolutely NOT:  hardboard siding, HOA fees, crappy neighborhood

We got lucky, we found a 3br, 2 1/2 bath, finished den, huge laundry/utility room, tri-level (only half flights of stairs), all appliances included, recently remodeled, 6ft privacy fence, new deck, 1 1/2 car garage, double driveway almost 1800sf house for under $180k.  Umm, yes please!  We’d like to bid on that one!

Post # 7
4099 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

  • Garage
  • 2 Story
  • Basement
  • Off Street Parking for 2 cars + the garage
  • New Build
  • Soaking tub
  • Central Air
  • Gas or Heat Pump (no oil)

Post # 8
3375 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We live in a super old city, so it’s hard for me to look at houses becasue they’re all so nasty (and we’re talking about 500k+ homes). Our big non negotiables are:

Garage (this is rare)


3 bedrooms

kitchen that’s open to family room

separate dining room and breakfast room

Nice neighborhood that’s not all a mismatch of huge homes and shotgun houses from the 1940’s. We’d like it to be cohesive and with families.

Other than that we’re not picky. The houses we see all have 30 year old kitchens, gross floors, old bathrooms, icky carpet…. We want to DIY, but it’s hard to see past all the ickiness!

Post # 9
13099 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

Post # 10
2077 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We haven’t purchased a house yet (though we’ve been searching and are hoping to have our home at the beginning of next year!) but we have a small list of non-negotiables:

Darling Husband:

  • Basement or garage, one or the other, it doesn’t have to be both
  • A patio or a 3 seasons porch


  • A safe neighborhood
  • Not on a busy road
  • A decently sized kitchen with lots of storage space
  • At least 2 bedrooms
  • A backyard

Post # 11
3241 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Must haves:

  • 2 car garage
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 baths
  • air conditioning
  • a fence or the ability to add a fence
  • 1700-2500 sq ft

Would be nice:

  • 3 car garage
  • 2 sinks in master bath
  • kitchen island
  • a view

Deal breakers:

  • Bad smells inside the house
  • Odd layout
  • We wanted to avoid having a HOA if at all possible


Post # 12
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I find it funny that people list central AC.  I know there are areas of the country where that isn’t the norm but it is something I don’t even think of because I’ve never lived anywhere that didn’t have AC.  And homes in GA absolutely have it.

And whats with the anti-HOA sentiments?  All the nicer neighborhoods around here (and around where I grew up) had HOAs.  They help pay for neighborhood playgrounds, pools, tennis courts, etc and help ensure the people don’t let their homes/yards get run down and trashy looking.  I don’t really see the negative there.

Post # 13
9202 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Requirements: particular location, yard space, garage or shed, at least 2 bed 1 bath, cozy and welcoming vibe (eg high ceilings, wood floors, semi-open concept, large south-facing windows).  And PRICE obviously – it is our first house and we were hoping for under 150k.

Wanted but didn’t get: dishwasher, wood stove/fireplace, 1.5 bath, breakfast bar.

We ended up with an adorable little place in the right area, with high peaked ceilings and exposed beams, wood floors, cool built-ins, big windows, a garage, and a big front and back yard.  All for 130k and a mortgage of $700/month!  Laughing


Post # 14
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Must Haves:

  • At least 3 bedroom
  • At least 2 (ideally full) bathrooms
  • In or close to our price range
  • Decent location – close to public transportation, safe
  • Parking available. We were mostly looking at townhouses and places without garages, so we didn’t mind that. But trying to find street parking is annoying.

No Way Disqualifiers:

  • Split-level stairs (they seemed like an accident waiting to happen, especially once we have pets and kids!)
  • Scary/loud/run-down neighborhood
  • Immediately adjacent to the highway

Post # 15
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

-3 bedrooms 

-3 bathrooms

-No more than 10 years old (ended up getting 6 years old)

-Convenient location

-Not old fashioned

-Double attached garage

-Stainless steel appliances or low enough house price to upgrade


The only thing we didn’t get was a big enough master bedroom closet, but we’ll live. The house is big enough to grow into, and if we have kids we can develop the basement to add another bedroom and living room area. 

I expect to upgrade within 10 years as there will be a lot of infrastructure developed and completed in that time frame in our area and our value should go way up!

Post # 16
4327 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

Could not have an open concept home. Hate those. Where are the outlets? What if I want some peace and quiet? Give me rooms.

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