My husband and I have lived in three different houses during the four years we've been married. Well, four houses, if you count the three-week stay with the in-laws at one point. But everyone stays with the in-laws at least once, am I right? So, between three different rentals, we've learned a lot about what we do and do NOT want in our future permanent residence.
After living in Apartment #1 for almost a year, we knew our dream house would have a large garage and a spacious kitchen. #1 happened to be located in one of the coldest cities in Idaho and, as it happened, we were also poor, broke college students at the time. To save money, Mo would work on the car in rain, snow, and wind. I can't remember how many times he wished he had an indoor space to work on it. I discovered that the coat closet could double as a pantry since we quickly ran out of cupboard space in the kitchen. Don't ask me where the coats went.
Apartment #2 taught us that who your neighbors are can make a massive difference. We had two very different sets of neighbors that lived directly above us in the year we spent at #2. The first was a couple with their kid and dog. The couple fought. The dog and kid made noise. All to be expected. The second set of neighbors were the ones to push us off the edge. There were a bunch of younger guys rooming together, inviting their friends and girlfriends over (who would end up taking our parking spots!) and partying at 4am. On a Tuesday. I'm fairly certain they didn't have jobs. We occasionally found vomit on the pavement by our door because their balcony was right above us. While I'm not usually a confrontational kind of person, I actually had the guts one night to go up there and tell them to stop bouncing their basketball on their floor/our ceiling. Their mamas taught them better than that, I'm positive! In our dream house, the neighbors will be at least a mile away.
We're currently living in Apartment #3. Being here has made us realize how great it would be to live in a place where we could paint the walls or change out dated gold doorknobs. Overall, #3 has treated us well. We live in a bit of a retirement community, you see. Majority of the people on our block are older, retired folks who mind their own business, keep quiet, and take pride in a well-groomed flower bed. And, to Mo's delight, we finally have a 2-car garage with this rental! Perhaps our dream home will be found in a retirement community?
Everyone knows a person should date around before choosing the one guy or girl to marry. The same could be said with houses. Right now, Mo and I are still in the dating phase, figuring out what we do and do not want in the end. That doesn't stop me from anticipating the day when I'll finally say "I Do…want to make an offer on that one."