Housing Musts and Maybes

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We finally got around to watching last weekend’s episode of TLC’s “My First Home” – the one that followed newlyweds Katie and Mike’s quest for homeownership in San Francisco. It got us thinking about our requirements in a home, and what we’re willing to be flexible about.

At the start of the show, the couple walked into their realtor’s office with a list of wants: free-standing house, good view, laundry, at least two bedrooms, yard, parking, and open floor plan. The place would have to be move-in ready and, Katie said, “near fun things and public transportation.”

When they mentioned their preferred neighborhoods to the realtor, he laughed. And laughed. The average list price in each area was well above their budget of $750,000:

Bernal Heights - $853,198
Potrero Hill - $943,578
Noe Valley - $1,131,516

After visiting over 30 places, the narrator noted that they had “settled” on a brand-new condo in Glen Park, with an asking price of $739,000 (HOA = $385/month).

When we embarked on our first house hunt two years ago, we wrote out a description of our dream home, with the realization that we would have to compromise on a few things. (We ended up buying a fixer-upper.)

So we were wondering: What’s your housing wish list? What did you have to compromise on? What are the must-haves in your next home? (We want a laundry room and a walk-in closet!)

-anh-minh