Are you an HGTV house hunting fan?
We definitely are!
And now we get our chance to go house hunting in another country!
Unlike some people on the shows, we did do some research into the average pricing of a house in our area. We also consulted with a realtor before we moved here which was a good idea so that we were aware of what was normal, and what was American dreaming.
On Our Wish List:
8 burner stove/oven
plenty of cabinet storage
Large bedrooms (3)
2 baths or more
Master bath with tub
Yard space for the dog (and future dogs)
This is the Reality:
Stove/ovens are 6 burners (not bad)
No garbage disposal
Bedrooms are average size
Tubs are not that common
Yard space is small in the new housing developments unless we wanted to pay more for land
Rooftop terraces are possible, but it surprises me that more houses are not built with them.
Another reality revelation:
Indoor laundry rooms are hard to come by. Most of the back patios have washer hookups. Dryers are also not the norm, but I wasn’t going to cave on that one.
And now the fun part: looking at houses!
We chose the residential area Juriquilla which is 15-20 minutes north of Queretaro. It’s at a higher elevation up in the mountains and a few degrees cooler. Juriquilla has shopping, grocery stores, restaurants and activities, but doesn’t have the major traffic congestion. There’s a lot of new housing development in this area, so we had a lot of choices in what we wanted in a house.
Some things that we did not think of that we found beneficial were: lighting on the stairs and alcoves for soap in the showers.
Double sink in the kitchen (many houses only had one sink. How are you supposed to wash dishes with just one?)
The houses we looked at were mostly modern. As wonderful as it would be to have some “Mexican charm” in the house, usually the kitchens are not practical. We looked at many different houses. Some had very awkward layouts with the stairs in the middle of a room, or the half bath on the ground floor opening right into the living room or kitchen. I personally would not enjoy walking out of the bathroom right into dinner prep or right next to the TV.
*You can click on the individual pictures to enlarge them*
Modern construction is very boxy, but the accent pieces on the front like wood, slate or tile really pop.
The stairs are a feature all their own. Many of the houses try to reduce how much space the stairs take up, but every once in a while we would see spiral or spacious stairs (which comes in handy when you are trying to get a king size bed up to the second floor)>
The kitchen was our #1 priority. The finishes weren’t really to our liking, so we focused our attention more on space and functionality. Double sinks were hard to find. For the rental, it’s fine, but if buy a house, we will have to renovate.
All the bathrooms we saw were tiled. Some had cabinet space under the sink, some did not. Some had frosted windows, some did not. There was a house with a large clear window on the ground floor right by the front door. That was odd.
I was impressed that each bedroom had good closet storage space. Most are equipped with drawers for folded clothes, socks or shoes.
In one neighborhood, the views were spectacular, but they were still building houses. So we might have this view now, but in a few months we could have another house right in front of us.
So which house did we choose?
No house is perfect (unless you build it yourself), but we chose the one with a spacious kitchen, spacious living room, good size bedrooms, and a gorgeous rooftop view.
And our view!