If you’re in the position to start looking for your family’s dream home, you may feel a mixture of excitement and apprehension. There’s a lot to think about and it’s essential that you make time to think about it. Bear in mind that finding the perfect home may not come easy and it could take some time.
Although you may need to make some compromises, you should never settle for less than what you need. Playing the long game with property will always pay off. Here’s what you need to consider.
Make a List
Before you start looking at properties, you need to figure out what you need from your home. Your needs and wants will be different. For instance, the number of bedrooms you require is a need, whereas an ensuite in each of them is a want.
Do you need a dining room for the family to sit down and eat meals together? Do you need a playroom for your kids or an office for working from home? Making a list of your needs will help you to narrow down the properties that suit you.
Also, try to take time to understand the “why” behind your list items. Sometimes buyers feel like they need a really large yard, when what they’re really looking for is some privacy. And sometimes a smaller lot with no backyard neighbors coupled with privacy fencing and hedges really meet their needs.
Location is a big deal when it comes to looking for the right property. For instance, if you have young children in your family, it will be vital that you look for a home near a good school. It’s also worth looking at the crime rates for the area and finding out what goes on within the community.
My area is the southeastern part of the United States, specifically the Windermere area in Florida. Here, great communities include A+ school zoning, fitness centers, lots of walkable areas to enjoy biking and exercising in this beautiful weather, community pools, community clubhouses, dog parks. Sometimes the neighborhoods are gated and may include golf courses. Many are located close to Disney. Those are the points of interest for buyers looking to live here.
If you are searching in a different area, like the northwest part of the United States, you can look at homes in Coeur d’Alene Place you can also see how vibrant that community is and how the schools are geared towards academics. There, local summer concerts, movie nights, holiday festivals, and farmers markets, are major draws for their vibrant neighborhood.
Researching your best location will give you an indication of where to look.
Set Up Alerts
There are lots of different ways to find properties available in the area you’re looking at. There are many websites you can use to set up alerts for any properties that come up for sale in your chosen location. Be sure to set up alerts! Great properties always sell quickly, and so you want to know right away when a home meeting your criteria comes on the market.
However, that’s not the only way to find what you’re looking for.
Some people choose to sell their properties privately or use estate agents that don’t advertise on big brand websites. Be sure to drive around and look for any for sale signs you may have missed and your eyes on local estate agents that only use social media or shop window signs.
Enlist a Local Expert
Many times I work with buyers relocating to the Central Florida area. Helping them find the perfect neighborhood is a lot of fun for me, but that comes from having been a local to the area for 50 years!
Enlight the help of a local Realtor who has experience in the area. Agents often have designations that show if they’ve taken advanced or specialized coursework in real estate topics, types of financing, or types of buyers (military buyers for example).
Seek out someone who has a combination of education, experience, and the personality to work with you and your family to help you find your family dream home.
Consider The Future
Looking for a property that ends up being your dream home isn’t just about the now. You need to consider what you will need in the future. If your family is still growing, you may need extra space in the future.
It’s also worth considering things like energy efficiency and how your home will use energy in the future. Homes with solar panels and wood burners are becoming more popular because they help owners save on energy bills and reduce carbon footprint. Think about what you will need in ten years time if you intend on staying in the property for that long.
A Buyer’s Guide
Good luck with your new home search, and enjoy it!