Last night, we took the whole fam to view a house. Up to this point, I have been doing the house-hunting solo, using various internet searches to plan my attack, browsing neighborhoods, dragging friends and cousins along, and hitting open-houses. We don’t nave a realtor yet, nor a loan, but I’ve taken the approach that, since it’s very much a buyer’s market, there’s no rush.

A few weeks ago, I passed a house that I thought was cute. I made a note about it on my increasingly chaotic notes page, and drove on. The next week, I drove by again, and noticed from my car that the house looks vacant. So I got out and poked around. It’s a 1920’s bungalow, not unlike the fabulous house I grew up in. It sits on a double lot, so it actually has a yard, and not a 4×4 foot patch of weedy lawn. There’s an ordinance that prohibits the owner from building on the side yard, so it’s the same yard it has had for almost 90 years.

There is a great big tree in the yard (among a bunch of other big trees) that appears to be a magnolia. I have a particular love for magnolia trees-they make me weep for the beauty of the spring blossoming. There’s a garage in the back that has the original barn-style doors. The yard is definitely big enough for a pick-up game of soccer, a vegetable and herb garden, a compost pile, and maybe couple of chickens. I’m so not kidding. One day, I will have chickens. If you don’t believe me, go read this and tell me what you think.

I took Sheila to the house when she was here, and we poked around again. The neighbor, Nick, came out to introduce himself, and ended up chatting away a good half hour. He told us about the neighborhood, and seems to actually know the neighbors. I think that’s a good sign.

We decided to call the agent and schedule a walk-through, since I had heretofore only peeked in the windows. He met us last night and showed us around. I had to keep biting my lip to keep from gushing about how great this house is. It’s got a few things that are not ideal, including very little counter space in the kitchen, on which to knead my bread, the cabinetry is new and cheap, though not unpleasing to the eye, the side door is on the yard side, not the driveway side, it’s not quite 1400 square feet, there’s a giant stump in the middle of the yard, it’s made of asbestos (solid, though, so no risk of airborne particles), and I haven’t quite figured out where I would put the piano.

As far as advantages: it’s cute. Big yard. Two car garage. Two story. Some hardwood floors that were refinished this summer. Antique fixtures that the previous owner had been collecting, including super-cute doorknobs and some fantastically beautiful light fixtures. Big porch. 3 blocks from elementary school. Nice neighbors. Finished basement. What else? Take a look and tell me your impressions.