Any of my clients can tell you that I am always making random observations about any house I show them.
I was just thinking about that this morning and realized I have always done that, ever since I was a kid. I have always been critiquing, comparing/contrasting houses as long as I can remember.
When I was probably 7 years old, I noticed that our backyard was flatter, more private, but smaller than the houses across the street. Ours was better for playing hide and seek and my best friend’s house across the street was better for playing baseball. That same house had an addition built on the back of it that had this smaller section of a larger L shaped room. I never got why it was built that way. It was wasted space.
We moved into a very small house that had a shared driveway. It was very steep. So steep that nobody ever used it for cars. I remember thinking “Who would do that do a house?” It was a two bedroom house. One of the bedrooms was more than twice as big as the other. That bothered me a bit. The house next door was the same floor plan just reversed. You could look out our hall window and see into their hall window….which led to the first time my 9 year old eyes saw a girl in her underwear, lol.
Then we moved to another town. Our house sat lower than the ones to the side and rear. That really bothered me. The house behind us wasn’t there when we moved in, so I knew how much better it was without a house there. Once the houses behind us were built, we started to have some drainage problems. This is probably why I am always trying to help clients visualize what might be in the empty lots and fields around them when they build a house.
Then we moved to Lexington when I was in high school. We had a cool house. The house on both sides sat way back in their lots. It was strange to see a house on either side of your backyard fence, but it made it nice to look out the side windows and see grass instead of having a brick wall 10 feet away. It was this neighborhood that taught me a bit about traffic patterns and which roads got more cars than others.
Then I got married and we lived in an apartment on Redding Road. I loved that location. Close to everything. We had a basement apartment. I didn’t like that. There wasn’t much natural light and everybody parked right at our front door.
Then we moved into one of those houses that sat way back in their lot next door to my parent’s house. It sat lower than their house. I felt like my parent’s house was about to jump over the fence into my front yard. I didn’t like it.
The first house we owned was in Winchester. I really liked that house, but it began a trend of me living about 2-3 houses in from a busy corner and having a busy road a block behind me. I don’t like a bedroom on the back of the house when you have a busy road back there. Makes it harder to fall asleep.
The next house didn’t have a flat ten square feet anywhere on the lot. I don’t like sloping lots.
The next house had a flat lot. Other than the noise from the busy road behind it, I liked it a lot.
All of which brings me to my current house. It broke the curse of the busy road behind me. I’m about as far into my neighborhood as you can be. There are only two ways in and out of the neighborhood. Nobody comes down my dead end road unless they are lost or neighbors. I like that. I keep saying I want to move but I haven’t found anything I like any better. About all I would change is to have more natural light and maybe taller ceilings on the main level.
So, when I say:
“Will that busy road being so close bother you?”
“If you were to have kids, do you know that there is no where to put a swingset or sandbox?”
“This house is dark inside. Will that bother you?”
“Does it bother you that the neighbor’s deck sits higher than your deck and you won’t have much privacy if both of you are outside?”
You now have an idea of how I came to notice these types of things.