Does Your Home Measure Up

Our lives are constantly changing: marriage, a new baby, a new job. Even the way we spend our spare time can change considerably from year. With or without children, possessions accumulate, tastes are redefined.

With the New Year, many of us resolve to change things in our life: to hit the gym and lose a few pounds, volunteer more, or get our house in order. You may be trying to figure out ways to achieve the best solutions to utilize the spaces in your home, or plan to sell your house in 2013.

Now is the perfect time to prepare your house for sale. Early spring is the greatest time to list your house, so potential buyers can move in before summer. Most people assume they should wait until the snow is gone, grass is green and flowers are blooming, but this isn't the case.

But regardless of whether you're looking to sell your home, you should take advantage of this quieter time of year to organize or make changes to your home.

Surroundings which once suited our needs may no longer fulfill our most basic requirements.

We cannot move every time our lives change, although sometimes it is the best solution. But even a new home will most likely not fit all our needs and will require some adjustments for an ideal match.

One of the most abused terms in real estate, or the most useful depending on your point of view, is potential. This term generally denotes a property that has been neglected beyond belief, however, each and every home has potential, you just have to know where to look for it.

Perhaps you have a vague sense that you aren't making the best use of space, but find yourself unable to put your finger on exactly how it is you could improve the existing layout of your house or apartment. The solutions may not be so obvious. Spatial, structural and organizational changes can be complex, disruptive, and expensive, so it is understandable that many people only fidget around the edges without ever coming to grips with underlying problems. Even If you are among the fortunate few who are fairly pleased with things as they are, there may still be ways to make improvements that you might have overlooked.

I hope to offer you measures to undertake a thorough analysis of your home, from identifying what you like and what you want to change to explanations of the alternatives available to you, from simple redecoration to more ambitious schemes that involve structural changes.

Begin by making a list of the positive and negative traits of your home. Now be objective and use a critical eye not dulled by over familiarity. It's best to think you are showing your home to a prospective buyer or to a real estate agent or possibly to a non judgmental friend who has not seen your house before and is someone with an open mind. Start at the front door and work your way through the house. Do you hurry through some areas? Do you make excuses? Are you pointing out grand features or views of your home that you should emphasize? Think about questions that a buyer may ask, such as services, and the basic structure of your home.

Secondly, what needs changing? Think about how you and your family live everyday in your home. Ask each family member to contribute their perspective. Here are some questions to consider: what delights and what frustrates you most about your home? How do you move around your home, and are there entrances and doors you don't use? Is there enough natural light? Does the artificial light complete your needs? Are there rooms where family and friends congregate? Can you entertain comfortably, and for how many? Are areas too big or too small? What is each room used for? Are there conflicts of interest? Where does clutter accumulate despite efforts at organization? Which rooms do you feel most comfortable in, and why? Do any of the main services such as heating or plumbing require constant repair? Is your home warm in winter and cool in summer? Are the solid surfaces and finishes feasible in the bathroom, kitchen?

If you are planning to stay in your home for quite some time, try to envision what changes in your lifestyle can happen in two, five, or 10 years. Some of these answers to the above questions may change over this time.

Listen to what other members of your family have to say, they may share some of the qualms of certain rooms, or have future plans for other rooms. This task of home analysis is the essential part to any major change to be taken on. Keep an open mind, and visualize the best surroundings for you and your family and enumerate every obstacle that currently stands in the way of you achieving your goal. 

Article written by Merola Designs


Joanne West

Joanne West

CENTURY 21 Trident Realty Ltd.
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