Alex and I have had a pretty busy two weeks with our work, so we decided to really set aside Saturday to do something out of the ordinary. We got in the truck and started driving around some formerly unexplored parts of North Central (ish) Houston. After checking another Whole Foods location off of my list, we randomly stopped into some open houses to check them out.
December marks our two-year first-home-move-in anniversary. During this time, we've learned a lot about homeownership and the difference between what we think we like versus what we ACTUALLY like--features that feel like the homes we grew up in.
Wish List Feature #1: Cozier Home With Character & Higher Quality Construction
We both grew up in the Northeast (NY & PA) and the architecture/design is just DIFFERENT there. New build homes are smaller and "cozier." Yards tend to be larger, and rooms tend to serve multiple purposes. New build homes in Houston, Texas tend to run on the larger side, offer lots of open concept floor plans, feature smaller yards and have enough rooms for ALL the things. (Never in my LIFE have I known a child to have their own bathroom and game room, until I moved to Texas that is). Older homes in the Northeast are REALLY small, but tend to have lots of character, wood, stonework and detailing. Texas is a lot "newer" than much of the Northeast and "missed" those moments in architecture and design.
I think another part of this "homesickness" comes from living and working around people who just live a different lifestyle. I currently spend a lot of time with parents and students who attend some of the finest (and most expensive) private schools here in Houston. There's a different mentality and pace to living that I appreciate, but do not prefer.
Wish List Feature #2: Less House, Mature Trees & More Yard
Fly over a Houston suburb and you'll see it sprawling with McMansions. I've been into some of these homes and I just feel overwhelmed. Like what do you do with all that space? Do you use all those rooms? Do you really need that entire closet? Why does each child have their own bathroom? I'm a very practical, utilitarian type of person when it comes to my space and these homes just don't make sense. Our current home has an open floor plan which makes it feel even larger than it already is. Plus we only have a one-story home, so the square footage that is typically the second-floor of a home, is all together, and again, feels so overwhelming.
Wish List Feature #3: A More Finished Outdoor Space & More Windows
I love sitting outside and our next home, whatever that may be, needs to have significant space for lounging/outdoor activities like a pool, fireplace/firepit, eating area, outdoor kitchen. Currently, we have a small (yet the builder called it "extended") patio that is enough space to sit outside, but it feels really cramped. We don't really have space for a firepit without burning something down or coming too close to a neighbors yard. I'm sure we could, but I don't think I would use it because it's just not as inviting as it could be.
Also, because our home is all on one floor, we take up a lot more of our property area when compared to a two-story home. We also don't have as much natural lighting because, (1) a lot of the homes around us our two-stories and (2) we don't have the really high ceilings that you can get with a two-story.
Do you have any lessons learned since buying your first home? I'd love to know! Leave a comment below or catch me on Instagram! Thanks for stopping by. Have a fabulous day.