Next week, I will be heading to Chicago for our first house hunting trip. In the meantime, I've been doing a LOT of preliminary work. Talking with realtors, visiting real estate websites, checking on schools and churches and communities. I'm not gonna lie. I have a mini panic attack every day.
This week, after too many cups of coffee left me sleepless at midnight, I decided to add a house hunting section to my personal planner. When life speeds up to a frantic pace, I like to sort it all out with pen and paper. It makes me feel like I am organizing my chaos into manageable parts.
My personal planner is just that. It's personal. I've customized it to suit my style and preferences. That explains why I am using Webster's Pages Color Crush Caramel Planner with Barnes and Noble Punctuate Planner inserts, And to make it even more personal, I am using Simple Stories Homespun and Life Documented collections to jazz it all up.
One of my many "lists" details what we are looking for in our next town.
I came up with a way to document the details of the houses we will be touring. I simply printed this onto my Simple Stories Homespun papers, cut it to size, punched the holes, and voila!
I can tell you from past experiences that after a day of touring a dozen or so houses, they all start to blend together. It's good to take notes! This way, when you are trying to process all of the information over a bowl of guacamole and chips later that night, you can pull out your notes to confirm the details and compare impressions.
I also have a "Wish List" for our future home. Granted, you never get everything on your wish list, but it is so important to create one anyway. And even more importantly, refer to the list often when making the house decision.
You have to ask yourself "Does this house suit our needs?"
We once bought a house based solely on the view out the back windows. I was recovering from the flu at the time, and was in no place to make sane and rational important life decisions. When we got home, I couldn't even remember the color of the kitchen cabinets (cherry, not my favorite). I had not given the house tour its due diligence, and ended up with bathrooms that had no drawers for storage, a balcony with no access to the backyard, a dining room with no space for our furniture, a freezing cold basement, and a layout with terrible noise control.
As far as house hunting wish lists go, our needs are pretty open ended. We don't need a fully remodeled chef's kitchen, even if it would be nice. We don't need a specific square footage, just good flow and floor plan usage. We are not picky about decor, as that is so easily changed. We look for things that aren't quite as easily classified: quality, character, charm, coziness.
I hope this planner will serve me well on our house hunting trip next weekend. After all, a good late night panic attack is a terrible thing to waste.
Blessings on your Friday, cafe friends!