It all started when I was searching on Trulia and Zillow for houses in our price range. We were debating between buying an old house and putting some elbow grease into it or just breaking down and buying a new home (aka: the cookie cutter).
Everything we looked at in our range looked cheap (granted, our price range is super, super low). It was hard to imagine that we would ever move out of our spacious apartment into a home that we could really call home.
Then my mom sent me an email of one that we fell in love with.
It was an older home (1960s) but the family renovated it in such a perfect way.
Barnwood accent wall.
Butcher block countertops with double oven and green accent cabinets.
Real brick and mortar backsplash.
Bathroom cabinets were made out of repurposed vintage dressers with amazing sinks.
BEAUTIFUL hardwood flooring throughout and true tile (not laminate) in the wet areas.
Awesome backyard and patio.
Lovely full brick exterior with heavy barnwood shutters.
Best of all? They converted the garage into 3/4 of a large sunroom and 1/4 of it as a laundry room.
The sunroom would be my new studio.
AND - we had the exact 20% down payment stashed away. On the dot.
I could picture it all... until we put in our offer and the agent said someone else had offered the full listing price.
After a number of shed tears, JD gave me the sweetest pep talk. He reminded me that God didn't intend for it to be our first home, but rather our inspiration. We would find an older home and give it the same love and care as that couple did for the home we fell in love with. We could do that too. We just needed to find a home with a nice floor plan, a bedroom that our queen-sized bed could actually fit in (not a whole lot of those in our price range), a couple of bathrooms, a room for my studio, and a great backyard for gardening.
We pulled our bootstraps up, found a great real estate agent and have been searching ever since.
Houses seem to get a little redundant after you've seen a few, so I decided to make a scoring sheet for each house. If you work with a realtor, she / he will normally give you an MLS sheet on the house. This describes the specifics: square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of rooms, appliances included, etc.
You can write notes on these sheets but I prefer charts and checklists. After looking at a couple of houses, I decided to design the survey below. It's a free printable and we would love for you to use it if you think it would help in your house search too!
Today, we continue in our adventure for buying our first home with clipboard in hand:
Lovely clipboard from the dollar bins at Michael's
How to Use the Printable:
Write the house address at the top. When you're finished looking at houses for the day, rank them in the top right-hand corner. (example: 1/6)
Basically, I created a scale from 1 - 10 for the appearance of the neighborhood, exterior of house, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and backyard. For closet space, I rate it on how much space there is, the appearance of the closet, etc. For elbow grease, I rate it from 1 (being not a whole lot of work needs to be put into it on our part) or 10 (may need to demolish the whole thing and rebuild it from the ground up). There should be enough space between the lines for you to write notes on each topic.
At the bottom, you'll find a Notes box and places to check off if there is a garage and laundry room, as well as the types of flooring in the house (carpet, hardwoods, tile, laminate).
Most importantly, the question of if you can make it a home...
Yes, you can make any house a home
but think about if it's worth it.
Is it worth investing into?
Does it have charm / character or can you add that yourself?
**If you choose to share this free printable on your blog or website, please give credit where credit is due and link it back to our blog, Jitney's Journeys.
Right-click, save image, then print. May be printed on a 5" x 8" index card.
We hope this helps in your search of a home!
Don't forget to check out our other printables in our Etsy shop here