If it's the weekend, we must be seeing open houses. We went to see two different houses today: both houses had a split entry, where when you walk in there's a landing and you can go either up to the main level or down to the basement. We have this theory that if the landing was big enough to have a coat closet that this type of entry might work. Of course we have no idea whether or not this theoretical layout actually exists.
Even if the split entries were big enough (and they weren't), neither house was right for us. The first was just too small with no room for a sewing room and the second was fugly. It was so awful; both of us walked in and wanted to run away from the house. Smokers had recently lived there and we could see the smoke on the walls and we could smell it everywhere. It also looked like there was a water problem in the basement. The lot on this house was huge, though, and it's in a great area. The best thing to do with this house would be to demolish it and start over.
We actually saw another house earlier this week that we liked. The biggest problem was that it had a very musty smell, especially in the basement. This smell could have been due to the very old carpet - when was purple shag carpet last available? - but we didn't want to take a chance on buying the house and finding out that the problem is more than just the purple shag carpet. This house had great bones and if it had been updated would have been fantastic. But we just couldn't take a chance.
We're planning on looking at a couple of houses tomorrow as well. We think that one probably won't be right because the master bedroom is right off of the great room and the other one probably won't work because it's a house up for private sale. We figure that it's worth seeing houses that probably aren't right to learn more about what is right for us and to see details that might work when we decorate our house.