How To Choose A Home To Match Your New Lifestyle
As your life continues to change and evolve, you’ll want to make sure your home can keep up with you. Whether you need more room for the kids or a smaller space when they move out; if your current floor plan no longer fits what works best for you – it could be time to consider looking at a new home.
Choosing a new home to match your new lifestyle is no small task, and it may seem overwhelming at first. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with tips to help you navigate your way to finding your dream home, one that’s perfectly suited to your life circumstances.
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Understand Your Needs
When you begin your search, one of the first things you should do is consider exactly what you need from your home. Is your current place starting to feel cluttered and you feel like you need more storage space? Or have the children moved out, leaving your home feeling too big? Do you need to be closer to work? Or perhaps the children’s schools? Maybe it would be convenient to be as close as possible to medical services.
Whatever your lifestyle needs, it’s important to understand precisely what you’re looking for in a new home. This can greatly help you narrow down your search and identify the type of home that’s ideal for you.
Set A Budget
As with any major purchase, it’s essential to set a budget for your new home. Understanding what you can afford is a key factor in determining the type of place you’ll be able to look at. It will help you narrow down the list of homes you like to ones that match both your needs and financial capabilities so you don’t waste time looking at homes that aren’t within your budget.
Evaluate your current finances and check on your debt. Take a look at the interest rates and find the best fit for you. Try using a monthly budget worksheet to see the numbers you’re working with.
When it comes to setting your home-buying budget, we have several tools available to help you understand what amount is realistic for your lifestyle, including mortgage and investment calculators, a property tax calculator, a closing costs calculator, and many more.
Choosing A Location
Once you know exactly what you need and what you can afford, the next step is to choose a location that’s close to everything you need, while still providing the amenities and lifestyle you require.
It’s essential to consider your lifestyle and what you’re sure to want nearby to support your and your family’s lifestyle. While new communities are developed with everything you need in mind, some like to emphasize certain amenities in particular. It’s also important to remember the location you choose can affect the overall price of your home.
Consider some of the following things when choosing a location:
When looking for a home, it’s important to consider the local green spaces. Green spaces offer many benefits including improved mental health and better air quality. They also provide areas for physical activities such as walking or running, which can help improve overall health and well-being.
Not only do these areas add aesthetic value to the surrounding properties but they also provide an opportunity for families to spend time together outside. This is especially important for active families. This means walking trails, playgrounds and possibly even dog parks should be on your list. If you’re a pet owner, it will make both your family and your pet happy to have a place to play.
Entertainment, Restaurants and Shopping
You do need to think about the nearby entertainment, restaurants and shopping options in a potential home location. Having these amenities close by can add value and convenience to your lifestyle – from going out for dinner or drinks with friends and family to running errands on the weekends – having access to local businesses makes life more enjoyable and stress-free.
Additionally, many of these establishments offer unique experiences that are hard to come by elsewhere.
Whether it’s a cozy cafe in town or an outdoor market filled with handmade goods – there’s something special about discovering new places right in your own backyard!
Medical and Health Services
Having access to quality healthcare is essential for everyone and having medical facilities close by can provide peace of mind in times of need. In addition, being close to doctors and specialists can save time and money when it comes to getting routine checkups or tests done quickly.
Furthermore, if you have young children or elderly family members living with you, having nearby medical services is even more beneficial as it allows them easy access to care without needing to travel long distances. Medical centers also often offer other great benefits such as physical therapy clinics, pharmacies, imaging centers and more – all within reach.
Public Transit Options
Having access to public transportation close to your new home is incredibly beneficial. Not only does it offer convenience, but it also provides a cost-effective way of getting around town and saving money on gas.
Plus, having nearby transit reduces commute time. It’s also great for those who don’t drive as they’ll still have reliable ways of getting around the city without having to rely on others for transportation. Finally, public transit offers a reduced environmental impact and improved air quality – something that everyone should strive towards!
Having nearby access to good schools can have numerous benefits, both in terms of convenience and education. Good schools provide children with an excellent learning environment that’s tailored to their individual needs – something that every parent wants for their child.
Being located close to a school makes life easier when it comes to dropping off and picking up kids each day or attending any extracurricular activities they may be involved in. Having high-quality schools nearby can also add value to your property as well as increasing demand from potential buyers if you decide to move in the future. Ultimately, choosing a location with great schools is one of the best decisions you can make when finding a new home for your family.
Future Development Plans
Before choosing your home, you should also check out the neighbourhood’s future development plans. Not only can this give you valuable insight into potential changes in the area – such as increased property values or new businesses – but it also provides an opportunity to be part of something larger than yourself.
By understanding what’s planned for your community, you can become more involved and make sure that your voice is heard when decisions are being made. From public parks and bike paths to libraries and schools – knowing about upcoming projects allows you to get excited about the possibilities ahead!
Get Serious About Your Space
When it comes to the actual home itself, one of the most important considerations is finding the right floor plan. Not only do you need enough space to comfortably fit your family and belongings, but it’s also important to make sure that you don’t end up with too much unused space that feels empty. Living in a home that’s bigger than you need is expensive to maintain and can cause unnecessary stress in terms of cleaning and upkeep. The key is to find a balance between having enough room while still being mindful of costs and practicality.
Regardless of the size of the home, you need functionality – this means something different to every buyer.
Think About Size And Layout
Make sure that the house is sized appropriately for your family so that everyone has enough space to live comfortably. Consider how the rooms are laid out and whether or not they’d work well with your lifestyle. For example, if you have young kids, having all the bedrooms on the same floor may be beneficial. On the other hand, if you work from home, having a dedicated office space is essential for keeping your sanity!
For Growing Families
If you’re looking for a new home to accommodate your growing family, there are some important factors to take into consideration. Firstly, make sure that there’s enough room for everyone – both now and in the future. Secondly, look at the layout of the house and consider whether it will work well with your lifestyle. And finally, think about how the house can be adapted to fit your family’s needs – such as converting a spare room into a playroom or adding extra storage solutions.
Ideas to consider:
- Finish the basement
- Mudrooms with cubbies
- Walk-thru pantries
- More storage!
If you’re looking for a smaller home, there are several things to consider – downsizers need to think about space efficiency – finding something that offers enough room without feeling too large or overwhelming. Look for properties with features like smaller yards and multi-purpose rooms that can help make life easier and more comfortable. If convenience is the most important thing for you, a new duplex is a great option – there’s very little maintenance to do, and if you plan to travel a lot you can just lock and leave it without having to worry about the upkeep.
Ideas to consider:
- Fewer bedrooms
- Reduced living areas ie: one living room vs a great room and a bonus room
- Less yard space
For Multigenerational Families
As multigenerational households become more popular, you’re going to need to consider how well the home will accommodate everyone. Look for properties with separate living spaces or an in-law suite so that family members have their own space and privacy when needed. You’re also going to want to think about how the house can be adapted over time – such as installing a ramp for accessibility or expanding the living area.
Ideas to consider:
- Legal/separate basement suite
- Side/separate entrances
- Garage/garden suite
The size of the lot is also crucial in finding your dream home. A larger lot gives you more room to grow, and it can be beneficial if you plan on having a garden or doing landscaping. On the other hand, smaller lots require less maintenance and can save money in terms of property taxes.
You’re going to want to think about the direction the sun faces in relation to your home. If you’re a family that likes to spend plenty of time in the yard, for example, you’ll want to ensure the rear of the home sees plenty of sunlight. If you don’t have animals or kids you can opt for a smaller lot that includes less yard and more home (vs. a pie-shaped lot that’s perfect for those who want plenty of yard space).
Ultimately, it’s important to determine what type of lot you’re comfortable with and what works best for your lifestyle before selecting a floor plan. Be sure to talk to your home builder about lot options to fit your needs.
Think About The Timeline Of Your Build
If you’re deciding to build your dream home, it’s important to consider how long the project will take. Make sure you have a realistic plan for when construction will start and end – this can help ensure that the process runs smoothly and prevents any delays or unforeseen costs. You’ll need to decide if you want to go with a quick possession home (also called a move-in ready) or if you want to start from the ground up.
A New Build
A new build home typically takes around 9-12 months to complete, so you’ll need to be mindful of this timeline as you may need to carry two mortgages or arrange an alternative place to stay during the construction process. However, this is a small price to pay for the home of your dreams.
A Spec Build
If you’re looking for a way to get the home of your dreams without having to start completely from scratch, then why not consider a spec build? You can have some say in how it looks with choice finishes and customizations added at various stages, plus, enjoy all the benefits that come along with guaranteed design standards.
A Quick Possession Home
Finding a quick possession home is a great option if you need to move quickly. While these homes usually don’t offer as much customization, they could still be the perfect place for your family to settle into. A major bonus? You don’t have to wait for months for construction to finish!
Additional Costs To Consider
When looking for the perfect home for your lifestyle, it’s important to factor in additional costs that may come up during the process. These can include:
If you’re buying or building a brand-new home, one of the big advantages will be that you’ll enjoy much lower utility bills, due to modern, up-to-date appliances and the latest energy-saving features. You’ll also have modern insulation, which will save on your heating bills.
Property taxes can vary from property to property and are based on the assessed value of the home. Make sure to factor this into your budget when looking for a new place to call home.
Closing costs are the fees related to buying a home and they can range from 2-5% of the total purchase price. Make sure you factor this into your budget when looking for a new home.
Don’t forget to factor in moving costs when looking for a new home. Depending on the distance and size of your move, you may need to hire professional movers or rent a truck and do it yourself. Make sure you budget for this beforehand. You might also need extra storage options such as plastic tubs or boxes to help you move.
If you don’t have enough room in your new home for all of your belongings, you may need to look into storage options. This could include renting a self-storage unit or using an offsite storage facility. Make sure to budget for these costs before making the move.
It’s important to purchase homeowners insurance in order to protect your property and belongings against damage, theft or loss. Talk with an insurance company or broker before making a home purchase to get the best coverage for you and your family.
Fees And Taxes
When you finish buying your new home, you may be subject to certain fees and taxes. Make sure to ask your real estate professional about any potential closing costs or taxes due when making the purchase.
If you’re buying a brand-new home, it’s pretty likely that the landscaping won’t be done when you move in. This can easily be remedied, but you’ll have to set aside some extra money to make it happen. We recommend putting aside around 10-15% of the value of the home for exterior landscaping.
When you’re looking for a home to match your lifestyle, it’s important to consider all angles. From the size and location of the home to planning your current and future needs, there’s a lot to think about. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of options to help fulfill your goals, including brand-new builds, quick possessions and spec builds.
With some careful planning and budgeting, you can make sure that the process is smooth sailing from start to finish – giving yourself peace of mind in knowing that you’ve found the perfect home to settle down in!
Originally published Feb 8, 2021, updated April 24, 2023
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