February 6, 2009

The Search for ‘Home’

Yesterday we went out house-hunting. Well, it was more of a trip to see what’s available in our price range. And it wasn’t pretty. (I’m being kind.) I tried searching for a picture to insert here as an example & didn’t want to hurt any feelings by using actual listings, so I googled “dilapidated house…” and sadly, I liked the dilapdated house pictures better than what’s on the market in our price range. (They have character & potential!) So, here is a picture of the type of house I love:

In Northern Virginia, although housing prices have dropped some due to the economy, it’s still a really tough situation for young people like us who want to buy. Our goal is to find the saddest, ugliest house in the best neighborhood we can afford & to renovate. If a house has new cabinetry & granite countertops & beautiful touches, we’re not interested because we don’t want to pay for someones else’s renovations (I think we all know how defined my tastes are) and I’d feel terrible ripping something pretty like this out:

Give me this baby (below) any day!

SO I am constantly reworking floor plans for these tiny little houses & figuring out what we’d need to do to make them liveable & beautiful and then trying to estimate the costs. Here’s a typical home here (we would love to get our hands on something like this in a year or so.. maybe sooner if something pops up):

And I’d want to do something like this: (from seamanandsonsbuilders.com)

or this… (from istockohoto.com)

I love the idea of changing the pitch of the roof & adding dormers although we couldn’t justify this unless the roof needed replacing. Lucky for us, many of the houses in our budget need new roofs… in fact, my favorite house yesterday had a huge hole in the roof that the rain had poured through & ruined the floor beneath too! yay (ok, am I seriously saying I was happy about this??!! yes, because I saw it as money off the price & in reality it’s all we can afford.)

This house (below) from Cottage Living shows some great ideas for adding charm to the typical 70s ranch (which is very likely what we’ll end up in.)
The homeowners, Tyler & David Colgan, turned it into this adorable little cottage with coach house details:
Check out their beautiful kitchen. A wall of windows over the counters instead of uppers is a must in my dream kitchen.
Oh-so-pretty!And here’s a cool little thing they did in the back of their living room. They made his & hers office nooks for each of them. (He’s an architect & she’s a designer, aww) The doors slide shut when they’re not working.
And here’s a picture of their adorable little baby girl sitting at her pretty changing table. Such a functional & useful space… we used the closet for Christian’s changing area too & it saves so much space in his tiny bedroom!
Well, anyway, I’ll be posting more about our search for a house in the coming months. Just to sum it all up- because I live, eat, breathe design & all things houses, I’ve never wanted any material thing as much as I want a house. haha but I’m dealing 😉
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