I restarted this blog yesterday, indicating it was a hiatus time for me, no longer owning the house I poured blood, sweat and tears into. I’m helping take care of my grandmother, living in a small, cute rental beside her. But my girlfriend and I are making plans to buy our own place.

That really opens up the doors labeled “Possibility.” It also opens a fair number of cans of worms as well.

I absolutely adore and love my girlfriend. She’s smart, funny, keeps me smiling and laughing, and I honestly couldn’t have picked a better person.

But while we see eye-to-eye on most things, she isn’t a fan of old. Or, a better way of saying it, she doesn’t want a project. Whether new or old, she wants it to be more or less move-in ready, minor upgrades such as countertops or faucets acceptable. Me? I’m up for a total gut job, putting in new walls, insulation, refinishing floors and such. Somewhere there is a middle ground, we just have to find it.

But that doesn’t mean any old house will do. I am not a fan of plain brick ranch homes, for example. They look boxy, unadorned and often without the kind of character that I appreciate. I’m glad my better half agrees on this. There are some fantastic ranch designs, however, that aren’t plain and boxy. They are just above our price range, for the most part.

So, what do I like?

I’m a fan of the turn-of-the-century Victorian designs and early century Craftsman designs. They often have peaks and gables that add interest and character to the roof line, and their eclectic flow and tall ceilings give the houses a sense of large size, even when they aren’t very big at all.

Here is a quintessential, archetypical Victorian design that actually has some elements of Craftsman design, as well.

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Notice the roof lines and the dormer window. And the large pillars on the porch. This is a very well-built country farmhouse not far from where I live.

More views:

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The house is unoccupied and has been for many years. The front door is padlocked. Someone is obviously mowing the grass, but no real care is being given the the house. The front porch has a place where the roof is leaking badly and the porch ceiling roof has rotted. Still, the house isn’t sagging or badly damaged in any way the I can see. Even the awesome chimneys look to be in great shape.

It is not for sale, sadly. But I’m hoping that may change…

In short, this is a hunkering down, taking stock and planning time. What will the budget be? How much can we afford? What do we want?

A lot of possibilities…

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