I received an email recently from a “long lost” almost-relative, Rob. He had proposed marriage to my aunt Donna. She only declined because she was dying of Cystic Fibrosis and didn’t want to saddle him with that. My aunt is now long dead, as is Rob’s second (well, OK, FIRST) wife (also of CF). He’s recently remarried and he and his new wife bought a house. He mentioned in his email that they had 9 particular things that they’d wanted in a house, and this house had them all and then some.

I thought to myself at the time, Wow! 9 things that they knew they wanted in a house. How particular, how picky. Then, a little bit later in the day, or maybe it was the next day, I was looking through my filesystem and I came across the document that Carolyn and I created for our real estate agent about what we wanted in a house. We weren’t as specific as I inferred Rob was, but we were probably more exhaustive.

  • good office space

  • MBR, child room, guest room

  • good kitchen

  • ≥1.5 bathroom

  • good light, open floor plan

  • Close to (prefer walking distance) to campus

  • un-busy street (prefer cul-de-sac)

  • ≥1-car garage

  • workshop space

  • specific price range

  • nice, pretty, sizeable lot

  • no development

  • no covenants/restrictions/homeowners assns

  • school district matters (to the extent it can in Altoona!)

  • w/in range of DSL (or at least cable)

  • brick siding

  • new (thermopane) windows & good insulation

  • fireplace (prefer gas)

  • 200A electrical service, lots of circuits

  • multiple heat zones

  • no swimming pool

That was only, what, 21 things? And the only things we compromised on were price (a little), and lot size — Somehow, we didn’t find a perfect house on 200 acres adjacent to campus for less than the price of a week’s supply of catfood. Crazy.

So, now I’m thinking, 9? Only 9 things!? What, was like “windows” optional? 😉