What about the actual building characteristics we are after? We know that we need and want an existing structure that needs remodeling – that we can refurbish green. It must be a masonry structure with solid bones and good solar exposure and daylight access.
We are dreaming of a building on a larger-than typical 25’ by 125’ lot, which would give us some garden space. Or even better, we’d like to find a house with a vacant lot next to it! May be we can find a corner lot for good visual access to passersby into the yard. A small garage would be OK but is not essential.
We decided that we will need three bedrooms: One for us, one guest bedroom, and one that can be converted into a small office. One and a half bathrooms would be preferred. If the building has only one full bathroom, we could add half a bathroom later if needed. A finished basement, or basement that we can finish would be a big plus, particularly if it has some daylight access. It would be nice if it could accommodate a studio/workshop. Dreaming big and fancy, a sun room and a sleeping porch creep onto the wish list…
Price range? That’s a good question. An obvious conclusion is that the purchase plus rehab cost should not exceed the estimated or assessed resale value of the home after five or ten years. This has become an interesting exercise in the current, deeply depressed market… May be we can find ourselves a foreclosure that somewhat meets our requirements – excuse me – dreaming-big wish list!