An impromptu coffee date with friends at Devout Coffee on Saturday, led to an impromptu day trip to Sacramento.
Ryan and I are in the market for a house. And by "in the market" I mean we are currently living at my parent's house while we save enough money to actually be "in the market." For now we're just dreaming of having a home of our own and researching places we think might be a good fit.
At coffee, Liz, a long time friend of mine suggested Sacramento as an affordable and fun place to live, a place she thought we would like. Ryan had never been to the state capitol and since he had the Sunday off from work (a rare occurrence) we took it as a serendipitous moment.
A quick search on Zillow showed that there were a lot of open house events, so we got up and headed north.
At the first home we visited, one that was cute but not quite right (house hunting is a lot like reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears (this living room is too small, this mortgage is too big, and so far nothing has been just right), the disgruntled realtor asked me what exactly I was looking for.
I told him I was looking for an affordable Mayberry, a place where I could walk to a coffee shop or a park, a place where our currently unborn children could ride their bikes and play with the neighbor's kids, etc. He laughed and said "well honey, these days you gotta make your own Mayberry."
I didn't care for his tone, mainly because it felt condescending and as though he didn't believe the place I envisioned existed (especially in the price point we can afford) but the more I've thought on it the more I think he has a point.
Mayberry was in fact a fictitious town. It didn't exist anymore than Neverland. So maybe it's true that if you want it, you have to make it.
If you want a block party, throw one.
If you want to walk to a park, put on comfy shoes.
If you want a coffee shop on the corner instead of Starbucks, maybe it's time to start one.
If you want neighbors who talk to you, say the first hello and in some cases the second & third.
If you want a place to ride bikes, go outside your front door and start riding.
I'm still convinced the place we're looking for exists but until I find it I'm going to try to make the Bay feel a little more like Mayberry just by switching my perspective.
Things that are "important" in our house hunt:
1. Being near community (family & friends)
2. Having a home with space (I really want two living rooms, one for TV and one for reading/talking)
3. A large yard for entertaining and for the dog
4. Being near nature (bike/hiking trails, a river/lake/ocean)
5. Good school district (planning ahead)
6. Safe neighborhood
7. Good food and coffee nearby (not big fans of chain restaurants/coffee shops)
8. Having an international airport nearby (must be able to travel)
10. Church community nearby
What about you? What was important to you when you were buying your first home? Or if you're like us and just now hunting for your first home what are you must-haves?
Just click and save the image below for your free screen saver. The real wallpaper featured in this photo is from Tank BBQ. A friend who lives in Sacramento suggested we visit while we were in town and we are very glad we did. We got: smoked ribs, beef brisket, mac & cheese with bacon bits, tater tots and coleslaw with some beer on tap. The food was great and the customer service was top notch. Keep scrolling to take a look at our plates.