I say "must haves" in the title, but "Five things I'm really hoping for" might be more accurate since you can't always get what you want.  However, if at all possible, these are things I'd rather not pass on:

  1.  A dishwasher.  That might seem silly, but the last two houses I've had were older homes and simply didn't have dishwashing technology built in.  In my current place, I did buy one of those portable things, but honestly, if you plan on washing any more than a few plates and glasses, they're not very practical.  One load in this dishwasher would equal about four loads in a normal sized unit.  A dishwasher is a must have for me.
  2. Space - I don't get why some people enjoy being in a house surrounded by other houses. I suppose it depends on how you grew up, but I'd really like to be out of the city.  Neighbors are great as long as I don't have to see them on a regular basis and they're not closer than 1/4 mile in any direction.
  3. Internet - This one puts a damper on a lot of the rural locations. Satellite internet isn't quite up to my needs yet, but since we live in a state with so many isolated communities, this is a problem that's being worked on.  Hopefully, in the next few years, high-speed internet will be available virtually everywhere.
  4. Outbuildings -  At least one.  I do a lot of "projects" and would like to have some dedicated space, somewhere I can fill with grease and sawdust and get no complaints.
  5. A Garden - Growing up, my family always had a garden.  There is a big satisfaction that comes from growing your own food.  As a kid, I didn't always get that (especially when it was time to can everything, or "put it up for the winter" as they say in Tennessee), but as an adult, I miss that satisfaction, the exercise and the delicious fresh food that only a garden can bring.

There's my top five. What are your "must haves" in a house or apartment?


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