When I’m getting to know new clients, I sometimes sense that they’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options on the new-home market. While approaching the home search with an open mind is helpful, it’s equally important to recognize the aspects of a home that are truly important to you.
Compromise is often part of the process, but there are always a few items that are simply non-negotiable – and, believe it or not, it can take a bit of soul-searching to discover what they are.
I like to sit down with my clients and have an in-depth conversation about their practical needs as well as their “dream home” ideals. The following questions can help unearth some key priorities:
- Life Stages: Families evolve, and it’s wise to consider the future as well as the present. Do you plan to have children? Do you have teenagers who will be moving away soon? Are you close to retirement? Will you need a home that can accommodate different stages of life? These questions can go a long way in helping you decide what type and size of home will best meet your needs.
- Lifestyles: The way your family works and plays is fundamental in choosing a neighbourhood. How much commuting are you willing to do every day? How much will your commuting costs be? While houses are generally more affordable outside of the city, the cost of gas and perhaps a second car can add up quickly; sometimes spending the extra money for a more central location is balanced by savings elsewhere.
- Examine: Be honest about how you spend your leisure time, whether it’s playing sports, visiting cultural hot spots, exploring nature or cocooning with the family. How close would you like to live to extended family and friends? How important are good schools, recreation facilities and walking paths?
- Size Requirements: How many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed? Do you need space for a hobby, storage or home office? A family room? A two-car garage?
- Special Features: These can range from the indulgent to the absolutely necessary. Do you want air conditioning, a fireplace or a swimming pool? Do you require certain features to accommodate family members with special needs? Are you interested in saving energy, enhancing indoor air quality and reducing environmental impact?
We all have different priorities.
Ask yourself which ones are closest to your heart, and the right home will follow!
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