Determining the Must-Have Features of Your New Home

Before you purchase a home – whether new or old – you should have a checklist of must-have features. You probably won’t get all of the features you want, but you can prioritise them into features you can’t live without and those you can compromise on.

When your agent shows you a home, envision you and/or your family living there. Is there enough counter space in the kitchen to accommodate your cooking style? Try out everything – flush the toilet, turn on water in sinks and showers and check the electrical outlets. If there are many little problems in the home, there are likely big ones that you’ll need to deal with on a daily basis. So, even though you may think you’ve found your dream home, don’t let it turn into a nightmare from the little stuff.

Will your furniture fit in your new home? Or, will the style of furniture you love fit into the style of home you’ve chosen? If you’re in love with sleek and modern, you probably don’t want to furnish a historical home from the 1800s.

One of your must-have features might be sweeping views of the mountains or ocean. But, how often are you home to enjoy that feature? If you get home after dark and are out on most weekends, the view won’t give you much enjoyment.

For most home buyers the kitchen is an important area of the home where great memories are made when family and friends gather round. While a sleek, stainless-steel kitchen may look great - if you have small children, that spotless stainless steel refrigerator and sleek cleanliness won’t last long and could be a nightmare to keep up.

Also, determine if the house you love will need work to meet all your must-have desires. Before you sign on the dotted line of a fixer-upper, determine if the renovations are going to be worth your time and expense. If you’re planning to make significant improvements to the home that would put its value significantly higher than your neighbours, renovations may not be the best investment. Rethink the expensive renovations and consider less expensive ones. Kitchens are one area of the home that new homeowners might want to renovate. Keep in mind that if you only have one kitchen, trying to cook and eat around chaos might be difficult and test your patience.

Don’t forget to look for adequate storage areas when considering a home to buy. Although having enough storage is one reason that people want to move, it’s often forgotten in the excitement over other features that stand out.

Many home buyers can be swayed to buy because of a luxurious bathroom or the décor. Be sure you and your family will use the fancy Jacuzzi and that those silk drapes or custom blinds are included with the price of the home.

If you plan to be outdoors quite a bit around your new home, be sure the neighbourhood is safe for walks and chatting with neighbours. Nearby schools, shops might be important to you, so be sure you’re not too far from the places you enjoy.

Carry your must-have checklist with you when looking for a home to purchase and don’t try to memorise the list. You’ll be more focused and not as likely to be swayed by other, glitzy features.

Happy House Hunting!

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