Buying your own home is a dream come true for a lot of people, though reality can sometimes be a little harsher. However, if you know your budget and exactly what you’re looking for in a house, hunting for your dream home suddenly becomes a lot easier!
Creating a wish list and getting it down on paper certainly helps you straighten a few points out. But where to start? Read on and find out the essential points to consider when making your wish list.
The Difference Between Want and Need
The very first thing you need to do when writing your wish list is draw two very clear columns: Need and Want! The Need column will contain all the deal breakers, those points that are non-negotiable such as number of bedrooms. The Want column will list all those things you would like your ideal home to have, but that aren’t as important to you, such as a nice yard with apple trees!
The Long-Term Plan
Next, consider your long-term plan. Ask yourself how long you plan to live in your new home. Do you plan to raise a family here, and if so, how many kids? Alternatively, do you plan to fix the house up and sell it on for a profit? It’s important to really take some time and think about your long-term plan, as this can help you make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing the right home.
The Type of Home
With a long-term plan in place, it’s easier to decide what type of home you’re looking for – a new build or a resale? Or maybe you’re thinking about a fixer upper? Deciding this in advance can really help you seek out the best choice for you. If you’re considering a fixer upper, break down the costs of a typical renovation job on the type of house you’re seeking and decide whether you really want to ride the financial and emotional rollercoaster that comes with the territory.
Besides the house itself, it’s worth considering its physical location, as well as the type of neighborhood you desire. What type of street would you like your house to be on ideally? Somewhere calm and quiet, or right in the beating heart of a big city and with all you need within walking distance? How important is it to have a lot of natural light and a good view?
With regards to the neighbourhood of your choice, are you open to different options, or do you have your heart set on one in particular? Think back to your long-term plan and mull over which local amenities are most important to you, such as good schools or great public transport links.
There are several elements to factor into your wish list when it comes to what you really want from the interior of your new home. One of your most important criteria will probably be the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need or want. The floorplan is also worth considering. Do you crave somewhere with a modern, open floor plan or a home whose rooms are divided up in a more traditional manner?
Work out the square footage and the number of floors you’ll need – or indeed want. Think also about whether an attic or basement is a necessary component of your new home, factoring in the potential for conversion in the future. Finally, have a think about aesthetics. Are you looking for a turn-key property or would you rather put your own stamp on the place with a new paint job and carpets, etc?
The outside of your dream home might be just as important to you as the inside. In fact, even if you haven’t given it much thought up until now, there are some things that are well worth considering. Are you looking for a house with classic character or something more modern? Consider whether parking is important for you and if you’ll need a driveway or garage.
The front yard can really improve the curb appeal of your dream home, while the backyard can offer many opportunities – a vegetable plot, a play area for the kids, a relaxing Zen garden, etc. Think about what the yard means to you, and if it’s something you really want. Do you relish the upkeep or would you rather do without it? Again, think about the size of the yard and what condition you’d prefer it to be in.
Does your dream home require a pool and sundeck? Or maybe a front porch for watching the world go by might be more your cup of tea.
Thinking about the points listed above and getting everything down on paper puts you in a stronger position when seeking out your dream home. Once you know which factors you refuse to negotiate on, you can stand by your decisions when it feels as if your heart might take over your head!