Choosing Your New Home
Choosing a new home is an exciting experience with many elements to consider: location, layout, fixtures and finishes, design, and a variety of other elements.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is the difference between superficial elements -- paint color, landscaping, minor matters of style and taste -- and more substantial elements. Why? Because the superficial can be changed relatively easily and affordably. Bigger fixed elements cannot.
What types of elements are considered fixed?
- Location: There’s a reason that people say real estate is all about location, location, location. It’s important to pay special attention to the particular neighborhood or locale of your new home. This element can make a difference in everything from commute to quality of life to home value.
- Lot Size: If you feel that the house is too close to its neighbor or to the road on the first viewing, that feeling is likely to grow once you are living there. Alternatively, a massive yard to keep up and maintain will grow more burdensome over time and may interfere with your enjoyment of the home.
- Physical Configuration or Layout: Moving walls and changing the layout of bathrooms and kitchens can become a pricey and complex affair. If you fundamentally dislike the layout of the home, it might make sense to find one that better fits your needs and your taste.
- Social and Physical Environment: If you love the walkability and convenience of the city, a suburban or rural setting may not be for you. If you love the quiet of the country, the hustle and bustle of the city may be hard to get used to. If you’re used to a lot of places to go and things to do, a remote location may keep you from enjoying your new home. Alternatively, a great neighborhood may make your home more enjoyable.
- Schools: There’s little control over the local school system and little guarantee that a poor or marginal school system will quickly improve. If you have children and don’t plan to send them to a private school, the quality of the local public schools should be a big factor in your planning. If you do not have school-aged children, you’ll have more choice in neighborhoods, since you won’t be constrained by an evaluation of the local schools.
- Amenities: What do you need to be happy? Are you a foodie who always wants to try the latest restaurants? Are you a power shopper who needs a mall nearby? Are you the outdoorsy type, looking for trails and recreational facilities? The amenities of your local community will be important and should suit your lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about your needs so that we can create a custom search that works for the way you live.