Ideally what I'd want would be a two to three bedroom house, colonial by preference, on a postage stamp lot, in the middle of protected forest - and with no neighbors not more than 10 miles from a Wegmans.
For some silly reason I don't think I'll be finding that.
More seriously, my list of things that I feel are non-negotiable are a lot simpler:
- Right Angles. I spent a year in a row building in the NYC/NJ area that had not a single right angle because of settling of the structure over the past century. Never again. (Even though we're talking about 89.45 degrees, or so - you'd be surprised just how accurate the human eye can be for noting such angles as being off.)
- Off Street Parking. I don't really give a shit if there's a garage or not. I simply don't care to be stuck on snow days trying to find a place to put my car so it won't get towed or ticketed. There are advantages to a garage, if it is sound and not in need of huge repairs, no question there, but. . . that's an 'it's nice' feature - not a necessity.
- No obvious six-legged roommates.
- Move-in ready. All major appliances in place, and working. Including furnace/boiler; hot water heater; stove; oven; and fridge. If I can get them: washer/dryer. Also by preference, none of any of these more than 20 years old. Working bathrooms. No plumbing issues. No heating issues. No open walls.
- Oh, yeah. No dyslexic plumbing. No burners that can't stay flat. Some kind of ventilation from the kitchen - if only a stupid window.
- No galley kitchens!
- A dishwasher!
- More than one electric outlet per room. Preferably several, and update electrical post 1960.
- No enclosed porch
- If a garage a garage that is sound.
- Fenced in yard.
- Relatively easy road access. Either room in the back to turn the car around or not backing out onto a road as busy as Clifford St.
- Preferably zero abandoned properties still standing on the immediate block; as a practical limit no more than, say, two. Likewise, no more than two lots where former structures were bulldozed by the city.
Other decisions I've made: No condos. Add in a set of HOA fees and something doable becomes a nightmare very quickly. (Besides I want more space between me and neighbor. No more upstairs mosh pits. Similarly - while I understand the reasoning, and see the potential benefits, no duplexes. Probably the best argument against it is that I have no fucking clue how the VA would react to such an income source. But really the biggest hurdle for me is that I don't trust myself to pick good tenants.
Besides, all the duplexes I've seen in my price range have galley kitchens. Inevitably.
I think that's the main stuff that I want to bring to the meeting with the Realtor tomorrow, but we'll see.