In Real Estate, "must haves" are the things that are deal killers in your home search. For most people these days "must haves" seem to be a kitchen with granite countertops, open concept (ie missing support walls and larger beams), and a large master bath with two sinks. For us it was a double oven and a house that "spoke" to us. Well, this house spoke plenty loudly to us but it wasn't until after we made the offer that I discovered that there actually WAS a double oven. Go figure.
After moving in we began to discover "sort of must haves" that were missing..things we didn't even think about until we were faced with not having them - like medicine cabinets.
Case in point: A Medicine Cabinet in the Master Bath.
As we were moving in, The Bearded One said in surprise, "Hey, there's no medicine cabinet in here!" Because there were sconces on the wall we had both managed to miss the fact that there was no little wall cabinet in which to keep toothbrushes, toothpaste, pills and bandaids... You know, the essentials of daily living. The Bearded One was all for rushing right to Home Depot. Which we did. Only the fact that anything suitable would mean either cutting a big hole in the wall or a special order kept us from purchasing something immediately.
After living without a medicine cabinet for two weeks certain things began to occurr to us: I keep my pills on a Rubbermaid turntable in the kitchen (so that I pack them along with my lunch each morning). I don't need a medicine cabinet for that. We have NEVER put toothpaste in the medicine cabinet - not in all the years that we have been married! We don't need a medicine cabinet for that. Toothbrushes have always gone into a toothbrush holder where they will dry completely so as not to breed more germs than necessary. We don't need a medicine cabinet for that. The ibuprofen bottle (without which no mature adult moves into a new home) fits just fine into the second drawer down on the right side of the vanity. Now we don't need a medicine cabinet for that either.
In fact we don't need a medicine cabinet in the master bath at all...especially since our backup supply of medicine cabinet items (most of it shower gel and bandaids) takes up the top two shelves of the linen closet in the hallway where they are easily accessible.
At any rate, about 4 days ago we agreed that not only did we not need a medicine cabinet, we didn't need the double towel bars that we "had to have". That we purchased and that sat on the bathroom floor in the corner for 3 weeks because we didn't have time to install them. We figured that if we had lived without them this long we could return them. Which we did. And got our $60 back.
I leave you with a bit of nostalgia concerning "must haves":
One of our favorite movies is "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" (Cary Grant and Myrna Loy - early 1950's?).
Muriel Blandings: I refuse to endanger the lives of my children in a house with less than four bathrooms.
Jim Blandings: For 1,300 dollars they can live in a house with three bathrooms and ROUGH IT.