Mr Blandings and I are not especially picky people. We’re actually quite easy going. If you’re going to live a happy life in the city, you have to somewhat flexible, right? Like good Midwestern boys we’ve always subscribed to the “you can’t always get what you want” camp. We’ve often settled for things that weren’t exactly what we wanted but, hey, it was close enough.
When we bought our little city condo six years ago, we made a list of requirements and then slowly whittled it down until it included just a couple of items. We discovered Early in our search that many of our must-haves were totally out of our price range. Oh, sure, if we wanted to move to a struggling or isolated neighborhood, we would have had more choices. But having crossed all of our dream neighborhoods off the list already, we we weren’t willing to sacrifice location any more than we already were. While we would have loved an extra bathroom and a separate dining room, those condos were out of our price range, even in the the neighborhoods we could afford. We started trading amenities, like in-unit laundry for off-street parking, and eventually landed in our tiny little condo in a so-so neighborhood. While we’ve loved the in-unit laundry, we both frequently bemoan the lack of parking.
We’re under no illusion that the dream house will be perfect. Nothing’s perfect. But this time we’re a little less likely to settle for less. As we’ve drawn up our list of must-haves for the dream house, we’ve looked at some that didn’t quite match up but they were usually dismissed straight away. We’re done settling, kids.
So what are these must-haves? Well, there are five big requirements for the house that will become our dream home. Of course, there are many other things on our wish list, but these are the five things that we absolutely, positively won’t give up.
- FIRE We’d prefer it be indoor, in a grand old fireplace or wood burning stove, but we’ll take a fire pit. Bonus points if the house has both.
- BATHROOMS There has to be multiple bathrooms in the house. They don’t have to be full bathrooms, as long as there’s more than one.
- PRIVACY Whether it’s on a half acre or ten, we want the house to feel like a respite from our crowded, busy lives in the city. We don’t want a house on a busy road or a corner lot. And definitely nothing with a shared driveway or any other communal property.
- GARAGE We’d settle for a one car stall but a two car garage would be even better. If there’s room for a workshop in the garage, all the better.
- GAY FRIENDLINESS Listen, I wish we didn’t have to care about this. And maybe we don’t have to. This is, after all, 2013. Unlike my experience growing up gay in small town America in the 1980s, things seem to have changed a bit. Still, we’ve tended to look for the dream house in communities that tend to be more liberal. We have searched mainly in areas with nearby universities or thriving arts scenes. Because, you know, where there are professors and artists, there are sure to be homosexuals!
Now, we almost gave up must-have number two for the shitty cabin. With a little hindsight, we’re actually relieved that that house didn’t work out. While it did fulfill the other four requirements on our list, we would have hated having another home with one small bathroom.
Image: Mr & Mr Blandings