Okay, so we’re not really climbing in people’s windows or snatching their houses up, but we’re coming as close as we can without setting off any alarms or having someone call the cops on us. And if you're not familiar with that title, you need to watch this video. Your life will never be the same afterwards.
We’ve spent the last two weekends driving around to some of the houses we’ve found listed on the internet that we might be interested in. We’re in the very beginning stages of house hunting and I thought it might be fun to share the adventure and what we learn along the way with you guys. If you want to follow us on Instagram, I’ll be gramming our house hunting adventures from now on as well and using the hashtag #theshortthousehunt. So original, right? ;) You can follow me here.
Here's a very crappy picture of one of the homes we like. It may not look like much, but believe me, there is so much potential in this little home just waiting to be drawn out.
To start with, I thought I’d share some of the things that we’re looking for in a home. These aren't in any particular order of importance.
Older home preferably from the early 1900s.
I love the unique character and attention to details that a lot of older homes have that you just don’t see in newer builds. A lot of times the craftsmanship seems to be a lot better as well. We know there can be issues and possibly more maintenance with older homes, so we’re trying to be careful of that and not get in over our heads. We’re willing to deal with some extra work, though, to have a home we love.
My dad and his brothers seemed to always have a remodeling or renovation project going on so I guess it's in my blood. It's my dream to buy an old home and completely restore it one day or design and build one completely from scratch. Again, we’re trying to be careful here. Neither of us have experience when it comes to home improvement or renovation projects, so we’re looking for something that we can learn on, but is not extremely overwhelming or is going to be more than we can handle financially. This is going to be our practice home.
Hopefully they’ll be some little Shortts in the future and we want to be sure we have a fun, safe place to send them out to play when they’re driving us crazy. Although, I’m sure our kids will be perfect little angels and never drive us crazy.
3 beds, 1-2 baths
Since we want to start a family and both of our families and quite of a few of our friends live out of town and come to visit, we want to have some room to grow and house people comfortably. Two baths would be ideal, but we can survive with one. I’m holding pretty strong to 3 bedrooms because I really feel like we’ll start to feel cramped pretty quick once our family and business starts to grow.
Open floor plan or the ability to open it up eventually
I’d love an open living area, where if I’m working in the kitchen I'll still feel like I’m part of the family while they’re hanging out in the rest of the house. I know a lot of older homes don’t have an open floor plan, so eventually we might open up some walls if we find the right house.
Hardwood floors and tile
Who doesn’t want them, right? I pretty much loathe carpet. Growing up in a large family out in the country turned me off to carpet forever. I feel like you can never really get it clean and it’s always hiding dirt and nastiness. If the house doesn’t have hardwoods, that’s fine, we’re just looking at the overall cost of the house to make sure that’s something that will fit in our budget to be changed sooner rather than later.
It doesn’t have to be massive, but it’s got to be more than what looks like an afterthought to the house. Looking for counter space and storage here or the ability to add an island to create more space. So the house either has to have a good kitchen or there has to be room in the overall budget to renovate one. We cook most of our meals and the kitchen always seems to be the gathering spot, so we'd like to make sure there's room to work and hang out.
This is not a necessity, but we’d love it if we get a house with one even if it doesn’t work and we can repair it eventually.
Lots of windows and natural light
As a photographer, this is one of the first things I notice about a house. Windows expand space as well as light, and I want our home to be a light and cheery place to live and work in.
I probably should have mentioned this first. We’re looking for something that’s not too far from our church since we love it and are involved there, and something that’s not too far from Kendall’s work. We know we probably won’t find the kind of house we’re looking for as close as we want to either of these things, but a 30-40 minute drive is doable. We both grew up in the country where we had to drive a good distance for stuff, but after living in the city since college, we’ve both become spoiled to having everything so close!
Our max is $120,000.00. We know we're looking for a lot when it comes to fitting in that budget, but I believe it's possible. And like I said, we're willing to put in the time and work for the right house to make it what we want.
There's probably some things I've missed and of course we’re looking at the really important stuff too as we check out houses such as the heat/ ac, electric, and appliances. You know, the boring but essential stuff ;)
So far we’ve snooped on two homes that we really love and we’re hoping that we get to go better check out their insides this week. There's only so much you can see through windows. There’s one in particular that’s putting hearts in my eyes and it’s kind of killing me because it’s under contract, but still open for show. So who knows, there may be a bidding war in our future.
I just keep praying that God will help me trust Him, because when I see something I love I get attached fast. I know that He’s got a good home for us out there and He’ll hold it for us whether it’s one of these two or something we haven’t even seen yet.
If you've got any advice for us house-hunting newbies, I'd love it if you'd leave it in the comments. We're open to all the advice we can get!
Here's a gorgeous home I shared on Instagram awhile back. I think I could be okay living there, don't you?