How to Evaluate What You Really Want in a Home

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Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

As you’re pondering your next home, think about what is right for ‘you.’ Try to forget about what looks good, what’s in style, and what others suggest you should have.

Do you want to move long distances or stay close to family?

If you want to move away, do you have the ability to take on the costs of a long-distance move, are you familiar with the new area, have you ever lived there before?

Take some time to think about the things that make you the happiest, but also won’t stretch you too thin. Happy Hunting!

Is Functional Space or an Open Floor Plan More Important?

Some might argue that they’re the same thing, but functional space and an open floor plan can look very different, depending on your outlook. An open floor plan makes entertaining easy and gives you the option of having multi-use areas.

It can increase functionality because you’re not limited to a single function in a specific room.

On the other hand, functionality could mean that every room has a purpose. Do you work from home like so many do these days? You might need a dedicated space for work. Do you have a family complete with multiple children?

If so, you also want to consider giving each one a space they can call their own, especially since everyone is spending more time together with their families thanks to the pandemic. It’s okay for everyone to have their own space—in fact, it will help everyone’s sanity.

Where Do You Want the Bedrooms?

This is a big question to consider. If you’re looking at a multi-floor home, you need to think about where you want the bedrooms to be. Do you want the master bedroom to be on the bottom floor or the same floor as everyone else’s rooms?

Do you want the bedrooms to be on opposite sides of the house?

If you have small children, you might want a single-floor home, so there’s no chance of anyone falling down the stairs. You might wish to have a multi-floor home if you have older teens because they can have their own space when their friends come over.

Or maybe you just want a place for them to play video games where you can’t hear them. Go into your house search with this in mind.

Do You Want a Big Backyard?

Backyards can be wonderful and important extensions of the home. Little ones love playing in the backyard with outdoor toys.

A larger backyard can also be built out to include a deck for outdoor entertaining or maybe even a pool. You can still get a pool with a small yard (check out to see some ideas), so if you have your heart set on one, it doesn’t need to be there already as you can always get it built after you move in.

Alternatively, maybe a yard isn’t a big deal for you. Perhaps a garden is in your future—it’s hard to say. When you start looking at getting a new home, you need to consider all of the space, from the backyard to the front yard.

How Important Is Curb Appeal?

Regarding the front yard, do you want a home with massive curb appeal, or are you okay with a simple front to the house? Some people love a front yard with a full floral garden complete with grown trees and maybe even a few yard ornaments. If that’s what you want, you need to consider the associated upkeep with a yard like that.

Consider out-of-the-box options, too. The perfect front yard may be xeriscaped, or landscaped to need little or no watering. If you’re moving to a drier region, you can find some attractive options with xeriscaping instead of the traditional front yard most people are used to seeing.

Do Appliances Come With the Home?

Appliances are expensive, so you might want your new home to come with appliances of a certain nature. Maybe you’re digging the stainless-steel look, or perhaps you want the built-in appearance. If appliances aren’t part of the deal, are you willing to buy or bring your own?

When moving across the country, it might be easier to buy new ones upon arrival, but if you’re making a local move, you might just prefer to bring what you have with you. If you’re going to buy appliances, make sure you budget for that, but wait until you arrive and measure the space to buy them.

The last thing you want is to purchase a new fridge that doesn’t fit in the space where it’s supposed to go.

What About the Schools?

If you’re moving with a family, schools might be a priority for you. You’ll want to check the area for the best schools for your kids. You may also want to call the schools ahead of time to find out the areas they are zoned for, just in case.

School zones change all the time, so knowing that ahead of time can be helpful in planning where your home will be.

Alternatively, if you homeschool your kids, school reputation might not be as important to you as finding a home that fits your family’s needs.

Do You Want Seasons?

You might laugh, but it’s an honest question. Do you want to experience the seasons? Do you want to feel the fall air when you step outside of your house or have that white Christmas you’ve only seen in movies?

Some people love the different seasons, and then you have people that prefer a single-season climate. If you want to watch the trees change color, don’t move to Arizona—not a whole lot changes in most of the state until you get to the far north.

The same holds true for Florida; it stays mild most of the year. If mild weather is what you want and you’re okay with the occasional hurricane sprinkled in, then Florida might be just the place for you.

A Few Final Thoughts

Finding a home you really want takes some time and forethought. You might see a house that would have been perfect at a different time in your life, but not so much right now.

You’ll have to decide on a floor plan that works for you with special attention to bedroom placement. Remember to think about the backyard, curb appeal, and the appliances you’ll find inside.

Don’t forget to look at the schools and consider whether the seasonal changes are right for you to help you find the home you want.

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