Decision Time

Here's a table I made to help me decide which properties were worthy of consideration; feel free to pinch a copy. I arranged the items alphabetically, but you might want to do so according to your own priorities.

For a baseline I did my own house, which scored a whopping 55%. I decided that any place that scored 80% or better would do. The one I am buying scored 85%.

Feature Score
(1 to 5)
1 acre minimum (2 better) for doggies to poop    
2,000 sq. ft. house    
Adequate power for shop and house    
Air quality    
Book shelves, storage and cabinets    
Cable TV (or satellite)    
Central heating, air conditioning    
Community college with adult ed. program nearby    
Cultural and arts, theater, concerts, etc. within 10 mi.    
Dead end street, last house, no prospects of expansion    
Driveway not to steep for trailering toys    
Fireplace (wood stove preferred)    
Good kitchen; dishwasher? Fridge? Natural lighting    
Hardwood or tile floors    
Hilltop location: South or West-facing    
Long driveway, off-street parking, fenced for doggies    
Low crime rate; "C-C" permit access a BIG plus    
Neighborhood or homeowners association    
Highway noise, quiet street, low traffic rate    
Noise, i.e. boom-boxes, car alarms, helicopter patrols    
Sewer, not septic    
Shade trees, lawn; adjacent meadow a plus    
Space for 1,000 sq. ft. "mother in law" cottage    
Space for a 2,000 sq. ft. shop/gallery    
Telephones in; local ISP, fiber optic a plus    
Good, Tolerant neighbors (but not too many)    
Windows with views to South or West    
Yard big & level to entertain and work on boat    
Zoning restrictions: no "occupation permit" required?    
Other Features    
SCORE (xxx/150)    

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