When its time to start looking for that new home keep some things in mind.
.... Discuss with your significant other what is important in the new home, make a list of priorities or must haves and make special note of the things you will not compromise on. Make sure you communicate these important must haves to your sales rep., a good sales rep. should remind you what is on this list and only show you homes that meet that important criteria. Its easy to get swept up in the excitement or the pretty decor when looking at homes and you can forget that a 4th bedroom or an extra bathroom was really important to you. Sure you need to compromise when house shopping, but some things are important enough to not bend on ...make sure you know what those things are.
.... It confuses the process when you have too many decision makers. As a couple you are buying the home, not the kids, not the in-laws or your best friend. Too many opinions, too many second sets of eyes are not a good thing. Its of course important to keep the kids in mind, is it a good neighbourhood for them, is the yard big enough for play.. but having a child screaming that they dont want to move while your touring the home is never helpful. Its your home you have to live there, you know what is best for your children and for yourselves so trust your own instincts. There are of course some exceptions to this, sometimes a home may require some renovating and you may know some handy people, feel free to tour the home a second time with some company that has some expertise you may need. Where the kids are concerned make a special visit to the home you decide on with your children strictly for the purpose of showing them their new rooms and choose colors for paint and discuss where to put the swing set. As for the parents and friends, they have the best of intentions, but too many opinions make is hard to concentrate on what is important to you, and their priorities for your next home, are probably not the same as yours.
.... Where the home is located is more important that you first might think. Considering different areas can create lifestyle choices. Is the house you like an extra 30 mins to your work? Is it 20 mins from the nearest convenience store? Is there more traffic here than where your former home is? Do you like to order out weekly, is there delivery to that area? Sure its nice to say, okay well, we will just cook more often.. but is that truly realistic or will that just make you miserable within a few months.
....Be picky, feel like your being picky. I actually prefer people who right away say to me," I'm sorry I'm going to be such a pain because we are so picky." The truth is those people are much easier to deal with, being picky means you know what you want, and when you see it, you know it and then we get you that home. Truthfully its the people who are afraid of being too picky that have a hard time finding that new home, because since everything is okay, then of course how do you make a decision. One of my least favorite things is when a new client says to me "Oh this will be easy we aren't picky!"
... Don't get swept up the pretty decor. Look at the important points. Do you like the layout? Is the house located where you would like to be? The things you don't like about the home, are they fixable and will your budget accommodate your changing those things? Can you see yourself in that house, that neighbourhood?
Well I hope these tips help you some in your search.
Happy House Hunting!