House Hunting

Last week was all about finding a house. I'm overwhelmed by how many adorable houses there are around here. This being my husband and my first ever house search, it's been pretty exciting. 

Some of things we're looking for in a house and neighborhood:

1. Must be within walking distance of Lake Michigan. Not just the lake, but a public access park. 
2. Within walking distance of a little shopping, cafes, a restaurant or two. We miss all that walking around in Tokyo and don't want to be stuck way out in the burbs where we have to get in a car every time we'd like to do something fun. 
3. Good public schools. 
4. 3 bed/ 1 and a half bath.
5. Bright and sunny.
6. A good vibe. For me, this means a little more than just bright and sunny. You know how you just get a feeling when you walk into a house? One thing I've noticed, though, is that if I feel a good vibe right away, it might cloud my judgement when I get upstairs and notice that the toilet is mounted on a six inch platform like a throne. In another house, I fell instantly in love with the gorgeous wide open living/dining/kitchen plan. So much so that I overlooked the tiny bedrooms and lack of closet space upstairs. Lucky for me, my husband is good at spotting things like that. If there's a bad vibe going on, like the smell of cigarettes, a dark entrance or clutter all over (saw all of this in one house), my mind is pretty much made up before I can get to the kitchen. 
7. If I do make it to the kitchen, I want to see one that's not overdone. This was my stipulation, not my husband's. I'm kind of really picky about kitchens and I haven't seen any that I'd want to live with. So I figure the more outdated the kitchen, the less we'll pay for the house. And with the money we'll save, I can do the kitchen closer to the way I want it. So bring on the laminate countertops! 

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