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The Borrowed Abode’s Most Wanted

March 25, 2010

When hunting for a new apartment or home to rent it’s always a good idea to brainstorm a list of your ‘must haves’ and ‘must-not-haves’ in a home.  A clear list of priorities makes shopping the Craigslist ads is a breeze!

Here’s what my list looked like (and some commentary ’cause I’m verbose like that):

Must have:

  • Location: close to our office yet still a small-town, local business feel.
  • Pet friendly
  • Washer/dryer
  • Dishwasher (I love to cook.  I hate cleaning dishes.)
  • Lots of natural light (because a home without it is just dreary)
  • Yard of 0.3 acres or larger
  • Landlord ok with my blogging about his/her property

Location was not negotiable.  After enjoying the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria for 5 years, I insisted that we move to another area where I could still walk or bike to local businesses as well as a farmer’s market (in the warm season).

As for the washer/dryer?  Look, I’m not a snob.  Nor am I picky.  It’s just that I think when you’re paying out the wazoo to rent a single family home in a nice area, you shouldn’t have to take your laundry to the laundromat.  Period.

This time around, I also had my blog to think about.  It was pointed out to me that some landlords may not appreciate my blogging about my experience living in their home.  If that was the case, they probably had something to hide.  Not the right landlord for me, that’s for sure!

Nice to haves:

These aren’t necessary, but I’d be lying if I said they wouldn’t influence me one way or another.

  • Fireplace (The snowy weather this past winter had me longing for this perk)
  • A decent kitchen. (I love to cook, usually for an hour each night.  Some rental properties have Godawful kitchens.)
  • Large yard (0.5 acres or larger, because I want a backyard wedding)
  • Screened porch or sunroom
  • Central Air
  • Wood floors

Must Not Haves:

  • Location on busy road (I love my cat.  Like it or not, he goes outside.  He doesn’t need to be murdered by a car.)
  • Cruddy heating system
  • HOA

We really didn’t want to be part of an HOA, or Home Owners Association.  I just don’t like them, and don’t trust them.  I don’t need someone telling me what color petunias I need to plant on the left side of the driveway four feet from the sidewalk.  And don’t get me started on rules against drying laundry in the back yard!

But overall I really didn’t have many “must-not-haves” on my list.  This is because when I see a property I immediately get a feeling if I know it just isn’t right for me.  That right there is the biggest must-not-have at all:  trusting your gut.

But enough about me, what about you?  Anything you think I missed on the list that I should have included?  Any ideas of mine that you think are just whacked?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Amber permalink
    March 25, 2010 11:00 AM

    I always go to the neighborhood at night usually around midnight over the wkend & check to see if it gets bad at night. Another thing is that I Always have to have some kind of storage space. Be it an attic, basement, shed… Whatever. I Need storage.

  2. Erin permalink
    March 25, 2010 4:16 PM

    I agree with Amber–storage storage. At least one decent space like a walk in or something. And this is coming from a girl currently living WITH NO CLOSETS! But I don’t complain–we have a sunroom, garage, and attic.And kitchen cabinets need to be functional for all that kitchen crap. Nice to have–more than one drawer in the kitchen. (I currently have one.) A dual sink is a nice to have too!

    Must have-a good spot for that litter box! :)

  3. March 29, 2010 3:59 AM

    I love this….my wants are identical to yours! Natural light is SO high up on my list. We lived in a place with low light for a few years and I hated it!

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