Wednesday, January 9, 2008

House Hunting

One of the perks of being a military family is that we get to move every few years.
One of the down sides of being a military family is that we move every few years.
I guess it depends on how you look at it. Our move is getting closer and as it does I am looking more at the options for houses that await us at the other side of the "Pond".

We have two main options Government housing which can be on or off base (as far away as 45 min) and very small (650 sq ft-1200 sq ft) or living "on the economy" meaning that we live in town in a British house and get a housing allowance. The first option, because of DH's rank and our family size, will put us in a two bedroom house where ever they have room until our family grows then we will be moved up until 4 bedroom housing (because that's as big as they get). The second option we are given a set amount of money to shop for housing and get something that will work for us size, location, amenities. Since we have lived in a 3 bedroom house or the equivalent for the last six years and do not really want to down grade and then move one or more times we are choosing door number two. I had my choice made with some out of pocket expense and a little longer commute than DH would have liked but it looked like it would fit us well and give us room to grow. Then with the new year came a higher housing allowance meaning we can afford to live closer to the bases and possible get most of my wish list for housing which include

  • Recent build or remodel 4-5 bedroom (I have been living in a remodel for the last four years I would like my home to look clean with minimal effort and older homes just don't have that)
  • A study for a sewing room (if it's a five bedroom it does not need this)
  • A master bathroom (this is an upgrade from the one bath we have now and would hopefully allow Olivia to sleep longer in the morning since we would not be making noise right next to her door)
  • Half bath downstairs (because I don't want to be stuck upstairs when I get pregnant again)
  • A dryer inside and/or a utility room (Many of the houses I have looked at online do not look like there is a vent for the dryer in the house, here in the states I cannot line dry clothes because of allergies, I'm not sure about there)
  • A gas cook top (I just prefer this)
  • Fenced Yard so the puppies do not get out.
  • Some storage space
  • I think a conservatory would be cool but it's not a must.

So that's my list for some it may sound like a large house but it doesn't come up to much more than the average American split level, the bedrooms are small, were talking 8X6 or smaller in most cases for the 3rd and 4th rooms and the biggest master I have seen in our price range is about 12x11 slightly larger than the bedroom we have now.

I'm glad for two things in this process. The Internet, which allows me to get a feel for what is available before we even move over there, and the fact that we are moving to an area that we are familiar with. With any luck I'm just a couple of moves away from my dream home.

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