It is not a difficult search to find a beautiful house for sale in Wisconsin. While the inventory is tight, but they’re still on darn near every corner. My short list of amenities is long.

I’d like a fireplace to warm my toes on a chilly evening. A screen porch with a swing and a screen door to bang shut. Lovely windows above the kitchen sink, where white starched curtains hang and herbs and vines grow on the sill. Hardwood floors. Storybook stone. Lots of trees, including maybe a birch clump. A fenced yard for my wire hair fox terrier Ivy Claire to run in big, wide circles, chase a ball and bark at squirrels teasing her from the branches.

There are great houses on the market with a view of a lake or river, hills in the distance or even of the immediate neighborhood which is reminiscent of Leave it to Beaver.

There are log houses with organic appearances maybe tucked in the forest that look like they grew there. Houses with winding paths to the front door with an old-time knocker. Maybe an attic tucked under the eaves where a reading nook offers space for an overstuffed chair. Small foyers with hooks for coats and window seats for taking off your boots and hanging up your umbrella.

There are wonderful homes with things you don’t see anymore like built-in phone niches that had been used to house an old black, dial phone that was tethered to the wall and had such a purposeful ring. Or small doors that opened to a clothes chutes where the laundry could sail down to the basket on the floor in the basement. Kitchens that had tiny two-way doors for the milkman to deliver your milk from your back porch. Musty smelling garages with bicycles hanging from the rafters.

Side yards with lilacs or tulips which send a rich scent into the house after a rain. Perhaps clusters of lily of the valley and the bending bough of the bridal wreath.

If you’re guessing that I am hoping for an old house reeking with character and charm you are right on track. Maybe a Dutch Colonial with a barn-like roof line, perhaps an English Cottage style with window boxes or picket fences. Even a farmhouse style with gingerbread trim up in the peak would be nice.

Since I re-entered the housing market after selling my house — I am scouting for a permanent place to live. I am living in an apartment now …. but I’d like some small town maybe where I can put down roots and be closer for my sons.

I am looking for a place near either the Minneapolis St. Paul airport or the Milwaukee airport so my two out-of-state sons can easily fly in, rent a car and come to see me. That opens up a lot of territories and like realtors like to say “It’s location, location, and location.” This will likely be my last house and I hope my last move (sheesh those moves are a bugger) so I am looking with a careful eye. I spend a lot of time looking at the online listings (the inventory grows smaller all the time) just to compare prices and partly because I am nosy.

It is interesting to see how other people live. Some have their houses polished to a shine for the online photographs and others haven’t even made the bed.

I have never seen so many exercise machines in my life. Bedroom, porches and living rooms are full of brawny machines that take up most of the space.

I am also glad to say that I’ve lately noticed so many acoustic instruments hanging on the wall, guitars, mandolin, bass or even a piano standing in the dining room. Kitchen bands. Maybe they’re coming back around.

The point (if there is a point) is that houses, are houses until someone makes them a HOME. I try to imagine them as my home. Doesn’t matter. I am just looking for the home and for the heart and then that’s the one I’ll choose — of course that is if the price tag allows!

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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