Shopping for a new home can be exciting and a bit scary at the same time. There’s loads of pressure to choose the house with the perfect size, location and amenities to suit you and your family’s needs now – as well as in the future. Wondering whether the house will be too small if you have more children, or too large when they all go to college, is unavoidable. Here are some tips to help you navigate your concerns, and pick the home that best suits you and your family:
1. Consider the floor plan
You can change tile, finishes, paint the living room a new colour and replace countertops. However it costs a lot more money to change the floor plan. It’s best to choose a home with a living room, dining room, kitchen, and the right number of bedrooms/bathrooms at a size that suits your life now – as well as in the future.
2. Don’t choose strictly for investment
A house that’s also a great financial investment is only a good idea if it satisfies your need for comfort as well. It’s important that you choose a house that’s also your home: a source of happiness, safety, entertainment and well-being.
3. Consider the neighbourhood
Try to choose an area in a neighbourhood of people with the same values, ages, and interests as yours. Considering an excellent neighbourhood can mean great social opportunities for you and your entire family.
4. Buy a life instead of an address
Perhaps in your search you will come across a gorgeous house. However, if it doesn’t fit the lifestyle of your family, it won’t make you happy in the long run. If you need A/C, and the house doesn’t have it, you will be miserable all summer, no matter how lovely your home is. If you want a fireplace, and you’re not allowed to install one, you may always harbour an unfulfilled wish for one in the back of your mind. If you love to cook, buying a beautiful house with a tiny kitchen will eventually disappoint you. If you want a pool, and the neighbourhood won’t allow an installation, this can be a source of disappointment as well. The reverse may also be true. A house with a pool may be expensive and a liability that you don’t want to have for the long term. Removing it is expensive and your yard will require follow-up landscaping. It’s better to choose a home that you can slowly build into your dream property, as opposed to a quick buy that restricts growth in the future.
Above everything, trust your intuition, but don’t be impulsive. Most buyers form their impression after the first few seconds of walking into a home. If you find yourself imagining your sofa by the fireplace, or your special reading chair by that window, chances are the house is a nice match for you. Pay attention to how you respond to each house and you’re likely to find your dream home by initially following your heart instead of your head – Checklists are useful and comforting to follow, but you can usually depend on your feelings deep down inside – When you find the right house you’ll just know.