It might be the very first home that you purchase, or it may be that you are getting ready to upgrade. Regardless of where you are at in your personal real estate timeline, now you are getting ready to shop for your dream home. Shopping around for your dream home is a special process. Unlike buying a home strictly out of necessity, your dream home should fulfill some of your fantasies, visions, and aspirational goals.
Have you always imagined that one day you would wake up in your own luxury condo next to the beach, with the sunshine streaming in through your windows? Or have you longed for that three-story house in the suburbs with a huge front garden and a swimming pool? Whatever the vision is, that house that you have been yearning for for years? That’s your dream home.
In this article, we will take a look at five things you need to make sure to check when shopping for your dream home.
1. Location Is (Almost) Everything
You know the old real estate motto “location, location, location”? Well, when it comes to finding your dream home, that is not a bad motto to go by. The location of your dream home will be one of the single most important factors in your home search. Think about the kind of life you long to lead in your dream home. Are you a sun seeking beach lover? Do you prefer the hustle, bustle, and glamour of city life? Are you part of an expanding young family looking for a spacious suburban home that your family can grow into? Or do you daydream about quiet evenings on the rocking chair overlooking the lake?
Determining what kind of location surrounds your dream home is a huge part of the consideration as you go about searching for it. Then, once you have narrowed down your range of options to a particular type of area, you will also want to think about specific needs in that particular location.
Do you love having the ability to walk to a local coffeeshop each morning for your perk me up cappuccino? You may not find that in the suburbs or the countryside, which can be important to keep in mind. Or let’s say you are a frequent traveler dreaming of a beachside waterfront home. Being close to a major international airport will be significant for you, so you will want to narrow your beachside neighborhood search to places within a reasonable distance from the airport.
2. Get to Know Your Property Properly
There are a few factors that may turn what seems like a dream home into something less than what you have envisioned. Size, regulations, and restrictions can all affect how truly dreamy your new home is. Rather than getting stuck living in a house that fails to satisfy your vision, take the time to get to know each property you are considering.
First of all, make sure you understand the size of the property. The total amount of square footage may refer exclusively to the house or may include a certain amount of the surrounding land. Understand what the actual size of the entire lot is, so you know how much room you will have to play around with. Some homes in particular locations, like next to the beach, may not actually include the beach that borders their property. If those types of details could potentially be dealbreakers for you, then you will be glad you did your research beforehand.
You should also get to know local rules and regulations governing that specific neighborhood. If your dream of a home next to a river includes a private dock where you can moor your kayak and sailboat, you may be very disappointed if you arrive and find that local regulations prevent you from setting up any kind of dock at all. A little careful research beforehand should easily reveal any kind of restrictions and rules that homeowners in the area are expected to abide by. Making an informed decision is a vital part of your dream home search process.
3. Think About the Layout
While the location and surrounding neighborhood are certainly significant components of your dream home, you will also want to look for specific qualities in the house itself. The layout is one factor that can help reveal whether or not a particular home has what you are looking for. Does your dream home have an open floor plan with furniture that can be rearranged throughout the day to suit different activities? Or do you prefer a home with multiple separate rooms, each one designated for its particular purpose?
Families with new children on the way may prefer to find a home that allows each child to have their own room and find some privacy. And with so many employees in so many fields now working from home, you may want to look for a home layout that has space or an entirely separate office. Even though most of your remote work takes place in digital workspaces online, it can make a big difference to your overall quality of life to be able to go to the office and come home at the end of the day- even if that office is simply a separate room.
4. Flawless Features
Aside from the layout of your dream home, you will also want to look for a home that has features you love. Think about elements of luxury, comfort, and style that will make your home special for you. A dramatic spiral staircase, an elegant fireplace, a bathroom with a claw foot tub, even a separate home movie theater; all of these are features that you will appreciate for years to come. Perhaps you are mostly focused on the architecture of the home, and the style of the walls, roof, and facade.
Or maybe you are searching for something simpler: a room with an excellent sunset view, where you can gather each night to watch the sun go down. A kitchen equipped with the highest quality appliances, and a large dining room table where you can host endless dinner parties. Whatever your preference is, picture yourself actually living in the space. Think about all the kinds of activities you would like to do there, and which kinds of features could best support your lifestyle.
5. Know When to Compromise
Of course, with all of these factors and preferences flying about, it may seem impossible to find one home that fulfills every single one of these desires. The reality is that it is actually possible. But you also need to know when and where to compromise.
As you figure out what it is that you are looking for in a dream home, make a long list that includes each of your preferences. Then go through and prioritize them. Which aspects of your dream home are dealbreakers and must-haves? And which elements from your list are less important to you?
Prioritizing your needs and desires will allow you to figure out how to spot your dream home when you find it, even if it is missing a few specific traits that fall lower on the list for you. This will also make it easier to know when to compromise and settle, and when to hold firm and keep searching.
With careful, thoughtful planning and a willingness to compromise when you need to, you should be able to find that ideal home. Think about the general location you would love to live in and narrow down your choices with specific location features that are relevant to your lifestyle preferences and needs.
Do some research beforehand to make sure you can happily abide by the local rules and regulations in your new home. Think about the layout and features that make your dream home the ideal fit for you.
And finally, make a priority list of your needs and desires as you search for your dream home. That way you will know when to compromise, and when to continue with the search.
Author: Emily Miller, [email protected]