Before we left we compiled a list of what we wanted in our ideal place of residence.
1. At least 2 bedrooms
2. An attic or basement
3. Covered parking
4. Good school
5. Lots of windows, with good light
6. Close to work
7. Close to church
9. A good office/work area
10. a good back yard for the girls
11. Close to park/grocery store/gym/bus line
12. Has character.
(sort of in that order).
The girls decided their ideal house would...
1. have stairs
2. have a swing set
3. Be purple or pink (this was Sophie's).
Finding it proved to be much harder. It was a rough week.
Things we learned:
1. Having our kids, and owning our own home have definitely
2. As it turns out the Burlington area has essentially a 0% vacancy rate, so there is not much available to start with.
3. There also isn't a central place to find what's on the market (no mls) and so it's hard to find what is available. We spent a lot of time searching craigslist, local classifieds, realty sites.
4. We had a difficult time getting a hold of people. Most people didn't call us back for 2-3 days. A couple of realtors never called us back. Which was extra aggravating since we were only in town for a week.
Despite the frustrations we did find a place. We ended up with 5 or 6 of our 9 requirements. (The girls ended up with 1 out of 3 of their list). It is a 2 bedroom condo, with a basement, and a one car garage. It's about 5 miles from IBM, and 3 miles from church. It does have several parks close by, and the bus line is close (although the grocery store and gym aren't super close). The upstairs bedrooms have great windows/light, but the main floor doesn't. It doesn't have a great work area, but it'll do. We essentially don't have a back yard (we have a forest instead), but there is a great spot out front for the girls to ride their bikes. The jury's still out on the school. The districts out here have great reputations, but I'm not so sure about Ella's school. We'll just have to see. And you could say the place has character, but unfortunately, not the good kind. Although, with some TLC, a good scrub and our own furniture/pictures, I'll think we'll be fine. On the plus side we did get a little bonus: the land lord really liked us and rented the place to us without making us fill out applications, checking credit, or references.