This is a guest post by Kathy Smith, a real estate agent with ECS Realty in Sacramento, CA. We hope you enjoy it.
So often we overlook the fact that our home must be a reflection of our lifestyle. A home embodies so much about our identity… the things that are most important to us, how we spend our free time and our personality traits.
We’ve heard the mantra of “location, location, location” for so long, it has become the primary compass for driving the decision about which home to purchase. While it is certainly important, focusing only on location often results in frustration and/or tremendous additional costs to make the home a perfect fit.
When purchasing a home, the ultimate guide for making this important decision should be your lifestyle, and the preferences you have for how you spend your time, to ensure the greatest satisfaction with your home.
Not everyone has the luxury to find and afford their “dream home.” As a matter of fact, very few of us actually do. Instead, what we must do is have a vision and the patience to find the home with the potential to become the dream home we aspire to own.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a home that fits your lifestyle:
- Does the home have the “bones” or overall structural integrity to allow for changes to be made to the house that will provide the results you want, such as tearing down load-bearing walls to open up the space for hosting larger parties? How much will it take to make these kinds of improvements? Will the neighborhood support the investment required to complete the vision?
- Is the layout of the home conducive to the needs of your family? For example, is the kitchen close enough to the garage where you unload your groceries? Is the living room distant enough from the children’s bedrooms to not wake them up when you have guests over? Are there inconvenient stairs that could be a nuisance?
- Is the home located in proximity to the lifestyle you envision for yourself, e.g. walking to restaurants, parks and schools; within commute distance to schools you expect your children to attend; within access to river bike trails for biking and hiking?
- Is there sufficient space to do any remodels you want in the future, such as adding an extra bedroom, putting in a deck or a pool in the backyard, or opening up and expanding the kitchen?
These are just a few of the factors that can help us better understand the lifestyle priorities we must take into account when looking for a home, but they are very significant ones.
While location is important, it is best to view this as just one factor amongst many in order to end up with the right home for you. If you have not considered whether the home is compatible with your desired lifestyle, location will mean very little and you will find yourself relocating again all too soon.
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