We’re at a point of downsizing. On a limited budget, at that.
Here’s what’s on my list of considerations.
- A pleasing work area: In my case, that’s the writing studio. For my wife (the foodie), the kitchen and pantry plus utility space. And in both, abundant wiring.
- A good view: In our dream, we’re looking at the ocean, but a lake or mountain might do.
- Wood heat: At least as backup. We’ve been very happy with our efficient Jotul wood stove. Besides, it’s good backup during power outages.
- Adequate insulation and heating/cooling: We’re set on New England, after all. Cold drafts are expensive and annoying. And summer is really only six weeks.
- Easy maintenance: I’m not a hobby do-it-yourselfer, and I have other ways to spend my time than amateur house repair. Our budget needs to keep calls to construction-industry tradesmen minimal.
- Smart use of space for our needs: Think affordable IKEA. Bigger is not necessarily better.
- Sufficient and efficient storage: Closets are a recent addition to New England houses. Take it from there. In our case, this would also include expansive bookshelves and a large garden shed.
- A three-season porch: Elbow-room, if you want, especially for entertaining guests in all but deep winter or tackling special projects.
- Minimal snow plowing: Even a short driveway can be difficult to clear if there’s nowhere to pile the snow. A long driveway can be expensive to keep clear and, for that matter, decently paved. As for parking?
- Hot tub? Well, this is a dream list and there is that three-season porch.
What would be on your list?