Staring at us.
We met with an agent last week. Articulated what we have talked about off and on over the years. What we want, what we don't. Mostly, it's been a process of elimination. We can't live too far from where D works, because he doesn't drive. So, a mile or so radius of location. Which suits me, so I don't have a bad commute either. No basement condos. We lived in some nice basement apartments, acceptable short term, but we're not going to buy one. We are not handy enough to get a fixerupper, so the functional stuff needs to be in good shape - furnace, windows, roof, basement dry, plumbing, electrical. Cosmetic aspects I can probably manage, in time.
I would like a garden, however small. In fact, a big yard would be more of a problem. We need just a little more space than we have. Right now 700 sqift* is just a little too little, with the bathroom through our bedroom. One more room will do us just fine, so about 1000 sqift total. We like enough light, we want a useful layout - decent flow. D would prefer a condo to have maintenance support, I am open but would prefer a home or townhouse, not wanting to deal with condo fees and homeowner associations.
And a place to put the car, garage, carport, or a place to put a heavy duty tent over it. Enough natural light. Newish furnace to be efficient, either AC or a swamp cooler.
Want to avoid squeaky floors, excessively tiny bathrooms, dangerous stairs, carpets - especially in apartment-beige, corner lots, ancient appliances that would have to be replaced quickly. After the one place we looked at yesterday, we added a rule of thumb - compromise on a number of things, but not a combination. One drawback, we can cope. Two gets iffy, three and we walk away. Because other problems will always crop up later on top of that. We want a place to live, it's not primarily an investment. It can't make us crazy within a year.
The cat needs a bit more space to run. We plan to net off an area outside for him.
*Sqift - Square Feet.