Wednesday, June 6, 2012

House Hunting

I didn't find a house I was ready to buy on this week's trip to Mobile. For the short term, I'll be renting the upstairs of a beautiful old house -- more on that later. In the meantime, I have been reflecting on the questions I found myself asking about each house I saw -- questions that are concerned not only with the strength and structure of the house, but with the potential for making that house a home. 

Can I hear church bells when the windows are open?
How will it feel to walk barefoot through the hall?
Can I walk or bike anywhere interesting from here?
Does it have a porch? How many friends can I fit on the porch?
Will I hear train whistles as I drift to sleep? 
Will students be able to stop by without too much trouble?
Will I know my neighbors?
Where will I plant the garden? Could I add a fruit tree to the yard?
What churches are nearby?
How old are the trees?
Is it safe? 
Has it withstood storms in the past? 
Where will my friends sleep when they come to visit? 

What questions do you ask when searching for a new place to make your own?


  1. Love your questions, these are things that are important to me too. Among mine:
    Is the house the new "cookie cutter" type, or does it have architectural character?
    Is there a neighborhood garden club? (oftentimes you can snag heirloom/antique bulbs/veggies/plants from members in "swap meets")
    Is the keeping of a few laying hens allowed? lol (I currently own 3 "urban hens" and LOVE them)
    -Rachel Best

    1. Thanks, Rachel! I hadn't even thought about a local garden club. One day I would love to have my own urban chickens :-)

  2. Bethany, my house in Macomb, Il was right next to the train tracks. I heard the "train whistle"(i.e. horn) and I felt my house shake with every train pass. It was not a pleasant experience.


    1. Like most things, trains need to be more or less distant to seem romantic. I grew up two or three miles from railroad tracks, so the whistles were always rather haunting, but never too loud. I'll grant that any closer and I wouldn't be so interested in them :-)

  3. Good questions. Having a self questionnaire is a wise idea - it can serve as a checklist as well. The question that interests me most is "Can I walk or bike anywhere interesting from here?". Wow, I'm a biker myself. If most of these questions (much better if all), answer “yes”, then and there you'll find your home.