The Home Of Your Dreams: What To Look For
Buying that perfect home is one of those goals which countless people hold onto, but not a lot of us actually achieve. Obviously, we can’t all make it to that sprawling mansion in Beverley Hills. However, it’s more than plausible to find a home which feels like it’s perfect for you and your household. Whatever your tastes may be when it comes to property, there are certain big considerations which need to be on your mind when you’re in the market. Here, we’ll go over some of the most important things to look for when you’re ready to settle down in your dream home.
We’ll kick off this list with the most fun item; those features you’ve always wanted, but have never been able to get. In your history of house hunting, you probably just picked out the properties which suited your needs. If it had enough bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone, and was within fair distance of your work, then you were ready to sign the dotted line. When you’re going for your ideal house though, you need to adopt a whole different mindset. Don’t be hesitant to write out a nice long wish list of what you want in this home. After all, it’s not every day that you buy the place where your family are going to live for however many years. Perhaps you’ve always wanted a bedroom that faces the sunrise, or a balcony overlooking a wide vista of natural beauty. Maybe you’ve always loved the thought of a stately townhouse in suburbs of a city, or a more cosy, secluded home. Perhaps it’s something more manageable like floor-to-ceiling windows or space for a pool table. Everyone’s wish list is different, so jot yours down before you go looking.
The next thing to consider is the neighbourhood you’re going to want to live in. You’d be surprised by how often homebuyers neglect to think about this when they’re looking for their “dream home”. Whatever property you buy, it’s going to be part of the larger community. You can try to be a shut-in if you really want, but where’s the fun in that? Do you want to be surrounded by high-end shops and cafes, or would you rather get away from the noise and bustle of a town centre? The community is certainly going to have an impact on how well you enjoy living at your property, so it’s important to take it into consideration. If possible, drive around the local area, walk into some shops, bars and so forth, and gauge the feeling of the community around you. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to tell whether or not it’s a suitable place for you and your family to settle. Obviously, it’s not going to be that practical to go to every potential area you have on your list. However, you can still get a little information out of estate agents and their websites. Read some of the news about Taylors for an example.
Next, you need to spend some time thinking about the lot. This is another one that’s commonly overlooked by many people looking to buy a house. Think about it though; it’s the only part of the property which you’re never going to be able to alter. If you really wanted to, you could have the entire home torn down and build a fresh one from scratch. However, if you realise that you have an issue with the size or location of the lot, there’ll be nothing you can do about it! You may fall head-over-heels in love with a certain home, but don’t make any offers until you consider where it is, and the area of the lot. There may be some vacant land right behind you where all kinds of construction is due to happen. Maybe you’re going to want to build extensions and detached rooms in the future, although you’re on the fence about it now. There may be an eyesore in the view which doesn’t seem all that bad now, but you may some to hate in time.
The age of the property is also something you can’t afford to overlook when you’re shooting for your dream home. Age makes a difference to absolutely every property, and when it’s the house you’ve been dreaming of your whole life, it becomes an even more important factor. This isn’t to say that new homes are inherently better than old homes, or vice versa. Both have their own pros and cons, and it’s important to understand these before making an offer. Forbes had a pretty good feature on the ups and downs of new-builds. Perhaps when you picture your dream home, you see a dumbwaiter and a spiral staircase. Heck, it may even be a castle! If you’re going for these historical features, then by all means tailor your search accordingly. Just be aware of the work that may need to be done to make it hospitable for you and your family. Alternatively, you may be crazy for all things modern, and hate the thought of any work past walking through the door. If this is the case, then target new-builds. Remember that if you can get your foot in the door when it’s still in construction, you may be able to customise it to your own specific tastes. If you’re doing this, just be prepared to really stretch the budget at points!
The interior style of the property is another big factor to consider when it comes to pinning down your dream home. This can be tied to your aesthetic tastes, or the kind of lifestyle you want the property to accommodate for. Whatever your motivations, I’m sure you want a home that you’ll be proud to invite people into. I did a whole other post on this which you can read here. Briefly though, if you want to have more creative freedom to play around with when it comes to your interior, then single houses are what you should be going for. If you’re not all that concerned about it, or you just want access to some hotelish amenities, then you might be more suited to a condo. Town homes generally offer a nice middle-ground between both of them, so consider that option as well. Remember though, every housing association is different, and will have various policies on what you can and can’t do to your living space. You can start your research on the style of the home simply by walking around. Have a nosy look at all the properties you pass, thinking about which styles you could live with, and which ones make your stomach churn.
Next, consider the layout of the property, and how this fits in with the ideal vision of your home. Sure, you’ll get the square footage in the listing. However, one property with a certain area can feel incredibly cramped compared to one with the exact same area. Some dedicate space to the lounge and communal areas, whereas others are more focussed on the spaciousness of bedrooms. Yes, it’s possible to knock down walls and manipulate the floor plan, but this is a long and often complicated process, which will cost you an arm and a leg. Think about the kind of layout you’d be happy to live with, and make this a big point in your list of criteria when you’re looking around at homes. Book viewings and walk around wherever possible. Picture your family living there; how you’d use the different spaces, anything that may get in the way, and modifications that you may want to make in the future. The lot of your property is impossible to change, and the layout is pretty close!
The final feature you want to be hunting down, I’m afraid, is compromises that you can handle. I know, the title says “dream home” not “pretty great but not quite there home”. Of course, when you’re looking for the one, it’s important to keep all of these other features in mind. However, the property market can be pretty unforgiving, and in all likelihood you’re not a multi-millionaire. There’s likely to be some kind of difference between the ideal you have in your head, and the home you’re going to end up buying. The most important thing to do is try to keep these kinds of compromises minimal. You can do this fairly easily by incorporating broad, sweeping criteria into your search. For example, if you’re not a big fan of sharing every waking moment of your life with the neighbours, then take the square footage down a few notches, in order to get a little more room to breathe on your lot. If you hate the idea of pool maintenance, then cut all of them out of your search.
Hopefully this list has given you a decent guide to finding the home of your dreams. Finding a property that’s perfect for you in every way is extremely hard work. However, that feeling of walking through the threshold is certainly worth it!