We've been looking for a house. I think it's been a solid two and a half weeks now, so we're ready to buy something NOW! While patience may be a virtue, it doesn't happen to be a virtue that my wife or I were endowed with.
We've looked at things a long ways away and they offered quite a bit of land and quiet living. We looked at houses close to town and they were sort of walkable, but lacking character or were in bad parts of town.
Over the weekend we found a house that we got a little excited about. It was a little house on 1.5 acres 25 miles from my work. It wasn't walkable. It wasn't particularly quiet. We couldn't have chickens, and the neighbor's driveway went right down the middle of the property. In a lot of ways it was a good compromise (it was the first nice house we looked at), but in other ways it compromised everything that we were looking for.
Today we were going to look at two houses closer in. One was an inexpensive home in downtown Lexington. It was a small house on a small lot where we would not have had room for a garden. It was walkable to almost everything, but my wife went to the nearest grocery store and found that it was not in a great part of town. She came home and did some searching to find that there had been a shooting at the end of the block a month ago. We opted not to look at that house, even though it did look like a cute house with a lot of things that we wanted.
The house that we did look at today was fairly close to work (9-12 miles by bike, depending on the route). It is not on a big lot, but the neighbors used to have chickens (therefore I figure we could too). The house is OK; it needs paint and moldings and some cosmetic stuff on the inside, but the kitchen and flooring are really nice. It also has this fun little bonus room. The house is being advertised as a 3/4 bedroom, 2 bath house. How can a house have 3 or 4 bedrooms? Well, it has two traditional bedrooms that are fairly small, but sufficient. It has a third bedroom, the master bedroom that has an attached bathroom as well as an attached bedroom. So you have to walk through the master bedroom to get to the fourth bedroom (that does have it's own closet). While it's a little weird, I like the idea of my wife and I taking one of the smaller bedrooms and giving the three boys the two rooms to use as a sleeping quarters and a play room. If I were a kid with two brothers, I think it would be cool to have a bedroom attached to a playroom away from the rest of the house.
So we like this last house. It's not really walkable to anything, but it's quiet and I would be able to bike to work. My wife would probably have to drive with the kids due to the distance and narrowness of roads in the area. I think this is a far better compromise than the others that we've looked at. Give us another day or two and we might even put an official offer on the house.