Generally speaking, buying a home is the biggest purchase we ever make in our lifetime. Buying a home is so much more than just another possession; it’s essentially buying an entire lifestyle. The spaces we live in have a huge impact on the way we are able to go about our day-to-day comfortably (perhaps even luxuriously). What’s more, our environment is so closely associated with our general well-being. More than four-walls, these are the spaces whereby we, our families and friends will forge so many memories.
When you hear the phrase ‘dream home’ something different springs to mind for everyone; different locations, different interior design styles. You might be more of a cottage in the country type or want a slick city pad with all the trimmings? You might imagine cosy decor and plush garden spaces, or be focused on the neighbourhood- it’s schools or sense of culture. Whether you’re a first time buyer, looking to upgrade, downsize, or even if you’re not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge just yet- here come a few pointers to get you thinking.
Avoid Rash Decisions
When you’re house hunting, it’s sometimes easy to let the excitement take you over and cloud your judgement. Have you ever had just a few items on your shopping list yet somehow come out with the whole store? (Yep, we’ve all been there). Of course, with house-hunting, we don’t have much leeway for financial trip-ups. If you’ve decided on your budget, you’ve likely put this cap in place rationally (before you were blown away by those bifold doors)! It’s all too easy to see something that you love but can’t afford. Make sure you know exactly what you can afford and don’t convince yourself that you need to pay more than that to lock down that wonderfully designed kitchen or extra bedroom. Remember, sometimes the dream home can have some potential to be a bit of a fixer-upper to get it to your desired state over time. Renovations and interior design hacks can be an exciting projects for you and your family to get stuck in with together. Either way, when you are seeing each property try not to get transfixed on the objects inside. Try to visualize your own belongings in the space and this will help you to gauge whether you can imagine yourself living here or not.
You won’t want to break the budget too much and endure the financial consequences, yet the fact remains that you’ve got to have some must-haves decided upon. This way, you know that you are not going to wind up buying somewhere that’s not convenient because of feeling the pressure (or wanting to get on the property ladder as soon as possible). Your must-haves could be anything from ‘it must have a garden’ to ‘it must have at least two bedrooms.’ If you write these things down and discuss them together at length, they’ll be fresh in your mind when you get looking. It’s also worth having another ‘nice-to-have’ list. (Translation- it would be nice-to-have this, but I’m not going to break the bank to get it!) This can be helpful to make comparisons if you find yourself with two properties that you really love and can’t decide which is dreamier!
Spend time in the neighbourhoods
This is especially important for those who are considering homes for sale in multiple locations and are not familiar with them all. The last thing you want is to find what you think is your dream home and then move in to discover that you don’t like the district one bit! The word home becomes a broader term when you are buying somewhere for the long-term because our neighbourhoods and our communities often give us a sense of homeliness just as much as the physical space of the house itself.
Explore the neighbourhoods that you are considering properly, walk around- research the features and the sights, eat at the restaurants, and check out the status of the schools. Of course, no one neighbourhood fits everyone, but just ensure that you can confidently imagine yourself living the the neighbourhood before hand. (Maybe you’ll be able to make a few neighbour friends before you’ve even moved in!)
Older or New Build?
If you’re considering buying an older home, it’s likely that you are wanting to find a dream home that has lots of character! However, it’s worth noting that with older homes, you may end up having to spend more on upkeep and renovating certain areas of the house over time. Therefore, you may want to try and factor this into your budget to ensure that it’s still going to remain your dream -regardless! Often newer homes may be a little smaller, though if less maintenance from the get-go is essential to you then perhaps this is the way to go! It might be the case that your dream home is a new build- you’ve always liked the look of those glossy and minimal designs! (Either way, you’ll have lots of fun once you get inside start working your interior design magic with the accessories that suit your loves!)
Get a home inspection
Getting a good home inspector to come and survey the house, and find any potential problems with it, is something that you should not underestimate the importance of. If there are any small issues, being aware of them from the on-set is very helpful. If there are any major issues, then you may just be saving yourself a nightmare! Although this is another upfront cost it’s not worth skipping it and taking the risk.
Finding your ideal home is a real adventure of a lifetime (though it’s often a rollercoaster too)! There may come ups and downs and times were emotions run high, but stay grounded in the knowledge that you will get there eventually. If you feel like you are not ready to take the leap yet, don’t stress. It’s all about assessing what is workable for you and your needs at this moment in time.