When Jon and I started house hunting we had few non-negotiable items and several preferences. As time went on and we weren't really finding what we had hoped, a few of our non-negotiable items became negotiable (i.e. 2-car garage because Ohio winters suck became 1-car if there was room to eventually expand it). We knew we would be in this house for the long haul (hopefully) because the schools are great so we really wanted to find the right fit. For a while there I really thought it would be one big compromise.
I'm beyond humbled to say we got everything we could have ever dreamed in this house (2-car garage, central air, basement, fireplace, decent sized yard, 4 beds for room to grow and 2.5 baths). A bonus? It was 100% move-in ready (once the mold remediation on the basement was done, anyway) and thank God for that because with Jon's surgery and the closing date being pushed back that was a huge load off my mind.
Added bonuses: our neighborhood has several awesome amenities for a relatively low HOA fee; there are multiple kids on our block, including a 3-year-old boy right next door; we think our yard is big enough to accommodate chickens (although we need to research the rules in our new city); we have a fantastic deck off the back that is roomy and wonderful with a low-maintenance yard.
There are definitely areas that leave room to be desired--our current kitchen is actually smaller than where we started at the first house in terms of cabinet space, for instance--but the frame is there and we are already dreaming of the ways we can make it perfect for us. As we get more settled I will post some pictures, but for now my free time is spent unpacking boxes and trying to find proper places for everything. I miss our old house but at the same time the new one feels cozier and more like home to me than the first house did. It's a pretty wonderful feeling.