I've lived over the years in a number of housing arrangements: house, dorm, apartment, a guest house, condo, and a townhouse. Each of those arrangements had their pros and cons.
The first housing unit I lived in with my family (my current one, not the one I was born into) was the condo that we still own. It's way too small and not sufficient for us to move back into. Plus we just got a new renter. The condo was great when Hubby and I were just Hubby and I but then things got squeezed as our family grew.
The downside was there was basically unusable space under the stair case. We didn't have a fenced in yard of any kind and weren't within reasonable walking distance of a park. Our water was linked to our four-plex and we didn't have individual shut-offs for our unit. In other words I could shut-off a sink but was unable to shut off the entire unit at once. We only had one toilet/bathroom.
The second dwelling was a 1,000 square foot two bedroom apartment. Aside from it being even noisier than the condo (which had an incident involving the police), it had it's own structural problems. They frequently had to shut off water to make repairs. We had huge walk in closets, which I'm not a fan of because they turn into storage/catch-all areas. And I had to lug laundry back and forth from the onsite laundry facility. The condo's laundry facilities were located in the carport was it was quicker and more convenient. Oh, and the vertical blinds drove me crazy because they turn into great fun for young children who end up breaking them. We had vertical blinds in the condo too and they were the first things to go.
Aside from the problems, we had a play ground and a gated swimming pool. Plus we had a covered patio. We also had two full bathrooms.
The third dwelling (our current one) is a huge townhouse. It doesn't have any blinds so we had to put up curtains. It has an uncovered patio area that buts up against a park. There aren't any walk in closets. We have laundry facilities to ourselves in the basement. We can shut off our own water. There's 1.5 bathrooms. The downside is that there's no dishwasher and the kitchen is very cozy. So as you can imagine the dishes pile up quickly. If I owned the townhouse the first thing I would do is rip out the cabinets and put in a dishwasher. Then I would redo the molding. But it's not my house.
We are hoping to get into a bungalow when we move. It's in a good location of town. Our friend checked it out and gave his approval. We've gotten through the background check and now we're just awaiting a lease after they receive our deposit.
I've seen the online pictures from the realtor and from our friend. I've scrutinized them, but of course it's hard to tell much from a picture. The cons seem to be vertical blinds (oh how I hate them). And the kitchen is small. Well the house overall is small. It's only 1,080 square feet.
The upside is that there's an Arizona room, a small work room, a fenced in yard, laundry room with washer and dryer, and a shed. They weren't included in the square footage because they aren't heated or air-conditioned. It's got two full baths, three bedrooms, a pantry, a covered carport, a dishwasher, and no neighbors sharing a wall.
I'm super excited, but expecting that I will have to figure things out to make it work for our family. I am looking forward to those future posts about arranging a house. And I hope that I haven't thoroughly bored you with my scrutinizing.