Great tips when you're looking for a home + Inspiration for your current home

This blog post literally just burst into my head at 6:00 this morning while scrolling my Pinterest feed. Who says Pinterest kills creativity, lol?

It is house buying season and I wanted to share with you some lessons (I almost had to learn the hard way) but thankfully the 2 houses we had put in offers for were refused! Though our offers were full asking price (usually rare in Quebec) they came with the condition of selling our current home (which nobody likes). So house #1 which I fell in love with, this one, is currently on the market again! The second one, a better option was also not exactly perfect. Both houses had no garage. We cannot live without a garage. Greg has so much stuff! Sporting, hunting, fishing, camping, his printing stuff, our skates, skies, snowboards, beach get it.

The first house would have been the worst! It had only 1 tiny bathroom plus a tiny powder room. Hello? We've got 4 women (eventually) in the house. It also had a tiny basement with zero potential for a bedroom down there or even a bathroom! It was the perfect house for a couple with zero children. That is probably why it's on the market again. The second house had a lot of storage and a bedroom and full bath in the basement, so it was the better option. The main bathroom was small, however, and there was no powder room. There was no way Ava and Brooklyn could get ready for bed together in the bathroom, which in our current home with 2 sinks is never an issue.

So here are some tips when you're looking for the right home!

#1  Location. This is pretty damn obvious but I had to put it down. Not only location as in city, but location as in, are you in front of a park? A noisy school (that first house was!) Backing on a beautiful forest (like we are now!) Is it a busy or loud street? A hill (our first home and soooooo annoying on a hill!)  Are you close to family, work, etc.

#2 Does it have enough room to grow, or potential to grow?  We definitely needed 2 full bathrooms and a garage, so when we viewed our current house it checked pretty much all the boxes. The only thing I would like is a powder room for everyday regular use, and for our guests; but no biggie. At least with the added bedroom in the basement we now all have our own personal space.

Via Bleubird Blog
#3 Is it done to your liking or can you make it your own? This is important because if you are spending your max budget but there are things you'd like to change (above and beyond all the costs of home maintenance) chances are it will never happen. So compromise. This house needed and still needs updating. The kitchen was done and I still love it. But we want to knock down the wall from the kitchen to the dining room and redo those floors to one seamless tile pattern, then add a wall of storage with a peninsula coming out from that wall. I. can't. wait.  Add on an eventual bathroom gut and painting the house and the list is somewhat big. But, it will make a huge difference. The footprint of the home, however, is good. It works!

Via One Kings Lane
#4 The footprint? Are you able to add an addition in the future should you need more room? Sometimes spending the $50,000 and getting what you want without moving beats giving that money to a realtor and taxes and moving and hassle, etc. Or better, does the home itself serve its purpose? Is there enough potential for added storage or clever nooks to carve within rooms, like a mini office, playroom/guest room, etc... Though I nearly cried inspection day from all the work I knew I'd be asking Greg to do, the house choose me almost. I knew it was the right one and we are all comfortable here!

Via Apartment Therapy
#5 The kitchen! The hub of the home, the reason my 5 year old thinks washing dishes is my favourite thing to do, lol! We are always in it when home, so it better be a good one, or at least have potential to be! If you can save $30, 000 by choosing a different house the think of the kitchen you can have!

Via Amber Interiors
#6 Your furnishings! Do not let your furniture dictate the home you are going to buy, unless it is the bedroom. You should be able to stick a king sized bed in there otherwise it's probably too small and you will probably hate it in the long run.

#7 At least 1 big bathroom! Or potential to make one. Our main bathroom is a decent size that allows for 2 sinks, and a shower/tub combo. Bonus if you can have them separate and have space to create something like this above.

What are your tips? Anything you've learned from buying a home? I am sure I have missed lots, and these are just ones maybe you wouldn't necessarily consider!

Have an awesome weekend!


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Maira Gall