It may not be fair to say that T~ and I have started house hunting. I prefer to call it house scouting. We skimmed the realtor websites in the fall getting a feel for houses in our area. Then we saw an older house with lots of charm where the priced dropped and thought it was worth a looky-loo. That put us in contact with a realtor who sent us some links to some homes and showed us a few one Saturday afternoon. While doing our research, we also noticed some new homes being built in the area for a similar price. It has gotten us thinking and with the wedding and holidays behind us, I believe we are beginning to move from looky-loo to more serious hunting. With all of this has come some important conversations.
We have been talking about what each of us finds important in a house and things that may be nice, but not completely necessary. We have talked about in the city, country or suburbs. Schools are important, whether or not we have children. We have talked about size, layout and yard space. The one tricky spot for us has been size. We grew up in different homes, so definition of space and how it is used is different. I grew up in a small ranch house and shared a bedroom with my sister. T~ grew up in a two-story home where he and his brothers had their own bedrooms. I had a living room and a semi-finished basement. T~ had a living room, family room and a finished basement. I grew up in a family where we shared more common space, where as T~'s family had room to spread out with opportunities to individualize space. We have seen some very nice homes, but it seemed the reoccurring thread was the discussion of the amount of space. While there have been homes within our budget that have additional space, I just felt like it was too much house for us. It seems silly and almost wasteful to buy a home with several more rooms in it than what we need on a regular basis. I'd also rather spend less on the size an upkeep on a house and use the money for travel, fun and life experiences. However, T~ was concerned that we may get too small of a house and it would not fit our needs for when family comes to visit or that a smaller house may feel like more of an apartment than a house.
Again, after our last look at houses, we returned to the conversation of house too big/ house too small. T~ felt like there was something more in how I was feeling. And there was. It was the fear of future regret. I told him I was afraid of getting a house too big for just two people. While lots of two person families may have two-story homes with a family room, living room and formal dining room, I was concerned that if we lived in that kind of house and if we could not have a child that it may end up feeling like a reminder of what we could not have. I did not want to be haunted by the empty rooms. Another concern would be regret in if we spent more on our house and then maybe struggled with having the money available to adopt. Fortunately, T~ was understanding.
It seems to us that we are trying to find a house that is not too big or not too small--a house that will give us opportunity to grow, but not trip all over ourselves--a house that will feel like home for both of us. I think we are getting closer to that idea, and now we just have to find the house out there. I think we will know it when we see it.