When it's time to start looking for a new home, it's important to know exactly what you are looking for before you begin searching. It can be overwhelming to see so many homes with their varying characteristics; square footage, number of rooms, upgraded kitchens etc. It's a good plan to sit down and ask yourself what is really important so you have a clear idea of exactly what you should look for in a potential home. Try to look for a home that meets most of your needs for the next 5 to 10 years, or one that can grow and change with your needs. Try answering some of these questions to get you moving in the right direction:
1. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you definitely need?
2. How many automobiles do you own? What kind of parking facilities are required?
3. Are items like air conditioning, a fireplace or a swimming pool high on your list?
4. Do you want special features to save energy and reduce environmental impact?
5. Do you have children or plan to have any in the near future?
6. Do you have older kids who will be moving away or getting married soon?
7. Do you prefer a newer home with upgrades or an older home with perhaps a larger yard and bigger rooms?
8. How many years until retirement? Do you need to consider a home with more accessibility?
9. Do you have any older relatives who might come to live with you or stay for long periods of time?
10. School districts. Is it important to you what kind of schools are in the neighbourhood?
11. Available utilities such as cable or DSL, satellite. If you work online, you might need to ensure that a new home has the necessary connections.
12. Fixer-uppers. If you're handy with tools, you might save a lot of money if you consider homes that need minor improvements, fresh paint or new carpeting.
13. How far is the home from your place of employment? Will you have to commute?
14. If you are looking for a townhouse or condo, would you prefer freehold, condo or co-op?
15. And of course, remember to consider location, location, location. Which community do you want to live in, where do your loved ones live, where do you want to settle with your family and build a life? Buy a home is the a big step, finding a home in the right location is a good start!
This list of questions should help get you started, there may even be some other important things on your list. Choose the things that you must have before you start shopping, it will make the whole process less stressful and help you sort through the many options out there, in order to find the best house for your family.