Even when we were buying our first home, we weren't typical first time home buyers - we have high expectations, and while we are not afraid of work, we have a pretty good grasp on what kind of work is going to be worth our time and money and what won't. We have the ability to look past paint, carpet, wall paper and even walls to see the potential in a home, and as we go through a house, we can differentiate between what has to be done right away and what we could save for and do later.
When we met with our realtor, our list was actually pretty flexible:
We want a garage - attached, detached, space for us to put one up later, whatever
We want 3 bedrooms & 2 baths, or enough space to add a bed and bath to a 2/1
1 story would be nice, but 2 story is fine
Central air - well, that's kind of a non-negotiable
So we started looking in Ann Arbor and the surrounding cities, and let me tell you, the amount you get for your money in this area is WAY less than what we got in our first time around. We saw a lot of houses that, on paper, looked like they had potential, but most were just too much work, or they were too small with no room for expansion, and the number of 3 bed/1 bath houses in this area are just ridiculous - WHO WANTS TO SHARE A BATHROOM WITH EVERYONE AT THE HOUSE?!!?!
The budget we started with this time around was about $40,000 more than last time, and we still ended up going $10,000 higher to get our house, but we got a great one! We can't wait to move in - only a week and a half until we close!!