30 Requirements for a Home

Random Observation/Comment #625: “Home is where the heart is, so your real home’s in your chest” ~Captain Hammer

Why this list?

In this phase of our life, we get a chance to re-evaluate our settled habits and preferences as a couple and a family. What parts of how we were raised do we want to keep for Evie? Which parts do we want to change? Did we default to NY because we were raised here or can we choose something new and exciting?

As we evaluate our new home, we have a high bar of requirements. NYC is pretty freaking awesome and we wouldn’t move without careful consideration.

  1. Community values – The neighborhood must have a voice and feel connected. Like a mesh.
  2. Safeness of community – Seeing kids playing on the porch with neighbors with little supervision shows a great level of trust.
  3. Weekend day activities – We want a place where we won’t be bored on the weekend.
  4. Ambiance – We’re more woods and mountains people than beaches and tropics.
  5. Standard weather – We like to see the seasons and experience the nuanced activities for each of them for longer than a week. We’re better with the cold and cozy than the hot and mosquitoes.
  6. Harshest weather – I’d like to avoid places that will be impacted by floods in case of global warming. I’d also like to not freeze to death or get snowed in most of the time.
  7. Infrastructure – It’s nice to have paved roads, clean hospitals, and responsive government assistance.
  8. Location Personality – We are trying to not live in a strip mall. Bodegas and Mom & Pop restaurants are great additions to give a place entrepreneurial love. I think we’re just hipsters/yuppies.
  9. Houses – We have a style in mind, but willing to compromise. I think we’re still looking at cost per square feet and cookie-cutter vs customized houses.
  10. Job opportunities – The area must have a tech scene of some sort. We’re both clearly lean heavily on tech-based companies to scout our skill sets.
  11. Political alignment – We’d prefer not to live as a blue dot in a red sea (if you know what I mean). I’d say we agree in more liberal views with some conservative nuances.
  12. Closeness to airport – I don’t think any major cities are more than an hour away from an airport, but it’s a plus to be closer to a major city airport hub.
  13. Airport hub – Especially in a job where I need to travel frequently, it’d be nice to be able to take direct flights from this new home (rather than a jumper to a major hub).
  14. Education – Whether it’s private or public education, we care a lot where Evie goes to school and how much it will cost. We would rather invest in a good education at a younger age.
  15. Commute time – This depends on where work would be, but based on what we do, we’d likely be commuting to the major city area, a WeWork office, or downstairs to our home office.
  16. Commute method – I personally love not worrying about having a car and where to park it. It’s just one less thing to stress about. If I’m commuting by train for most of the way then I can sleep or do work where I’m not paying attention to driving.
  17. Long weekend vacations – If I had a 3 day weekend, then where would I go within 2 hours away? If this was Europe, we can easily take a train to a neighboring country, but in the States we can find a nice vacation hike, camping trip, island, or ski resort.
  18. Quality of restaurants – Coming from NYC, we’re pretty spoiled with our food choices. I would like to think we can spend some time exploring different cuisines and not feel like we’re missing any diversity in foods. Once and a while, we like to go fancy, so it’d be nice to have a farm-to-table fancy place. It’d be nice to have a Chinatown.
  19. Cost of groceries – I love cooking and would be perfectly fine being close to a Trader Joe’s or equivalent in a city area.
  20. Taxes – Property tax and income tax are the big ones. It can be the difference of +/- $1k per month for housing and +/- $40k per year for income.
  21. Healthiness of people in community – Whenever we visit a place we’re potentially looking to live, we like to see what other people live there. Coming from a health-obsessed culture fast-paced culture like NYC, we just want a happy average of outdoorsy/active.
  22. Local fashion – What do people wear when they’re just walking around? Maine, Oregon, and Washington had a lot more hiking apparel, which was pretty cool. I think I’d look good with lumberjack/flannel colors.
  23. Friends – Do we know anyone there? How often do we see our friends right now?
  24. Opportunity to meet friends – Are we happy with having friends in this new place?
  25. Quality of life – This is a combination of multiple factors, but my general feeling about quality of life is determined by financial and social stress. If I feel like I can save adequately and not need to buy something nicer for a social competition, I’ll be happy with the location.
  26. Types of natural disasters – Every place has its danger of natural disasters. There are hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, snow storms, and heat waves everywhere. I’d prefer none of them, but it’d be good to know ahead of time of these risk factors
  27. Greenery – We’re using to the concrete jungle, so I don’t think we have high requirements here. It’d be nice to be in a nature or close enough to simulate it with a backyard, park, or common area.
  28. Backyard – While I’m not super thrilled about doing yard work, there was something really nice about hanging out in my own backyard, playing with friends, and hosting barbecues.
  29. Speed of life / “City’s time” – If I’m waiting more than 10 minutes for a coffee because someone is taking 5 minutes to ask for recommendations and making chit-chat, this place is probably going to piss me off. I do think that my thoughts on relocation are specifically to pull myself away from this type of “go, go, go” mentality. Perhaps worth a separate blog post all together.
  30. Table tennis – Extra point if there’s a Spin. If there isn’t one, I’d like to play with people of my skill or higher and hopefully play while having an ice cold beer.

~See Lemons Look for a Home