Want vs Need
Draw two clear columns: Want and Need - The Need column will contain all the deal breakers, non-negotiable points such as number of bedrooms. The want column will describe things you would like your ideal home to have, but that aren't a necessity, such as a garden backyard with apple trees!
Long -Term Plan
Next, consider your long-term plan. Ask yourself how long you plan to live in your new home. Do you plan to raise a family here, if so, how many kids? Alternatively, do you plan to fix the house up and sell it on for a profit? It’s important to really take some time and think about your long-term plan, as this can help you make a more informed decision when it comes to choosing the right home.
Type of Home
With a long-term plan in place, it’s easier to decide what type of home you’re looking for – a new build or a resale? Or maybe you’re thinking about a fixer upper? Deciding this in advance can really help you seek out the best choice for you. If you’re considering a fixer upper, break down the costs of a typical renovation job on the type of house you’re seeking and decide whether you really want to ride the financial and emotional rollercoaster that comes with the territory.
Besides the house itself, it’s worth considering its physical location, as well as the type of neighborhood you desire. What type of street would you like your house to be on ideally? If you are an animal lover looking for a safe place to take your dog out to play, you may want to look into buying a home in Riverbend. Perhaps somewhere calm and quiet and full of character, such as Kensington - or right in the beating heart of Calgary to catch city feels - such as The Beltline. Consider walking distance. How important is it to have a lot of natural light and a good view? With regards to the neighbourhood of your choice, are you open to different options, or do you have your heart set on one in particular? Think back to your long-term plan and mull over which local amenities are most important to you, such as good schools or great public transport links.
There are several elements to factor into your wish list when it comes to what you really want from the interior of your new home. One of your most important criteria will probably be the number of bedrooms and baths you’ll need. The floorplan is also worth considering. Do you crave somewhere with a modern, open floor plan or a home whose rooms are divided up in a more traditional manner? Work out the square footage and the number of floors you’ll need – or indeed want. Think also about whether an attic or basement is a necessary component of your new home, factoring in the potential for conversion in the future. Finally, have a think about aesthetics. Are you looking for a turn-key property or would you rather put your own stamp on the place with a new paint job?
The outside of your dream home might be just as important to you as the inside. In fact, even if you haven’t given it much thought up until now, there are some things that are well worth considering. Are you looking for a house with classic character or something more modern? Consider whether parking is important for you and if you’ll need a driveway or garage. The front yard can really improve the curb appeal of your dream home, while the backyard can offer many opportunities – a vegetable plot, a play area for the kids, a relaxing Zen garden, etc. Think about what the yard means to you, and if it’s something you really want. Do you relish the upkeep or would you rather do without it? Again, think about the size of the yard and what condition you’d prefer it to be in. Does your dream home require an infinity pool and sundeck? (Think Napa County style in YYC...) Or perhaps a front porch for watching the world, or shall we say, space go by—may be your cup of tea!
Thinking about the points listed above and getting everything down on paper puts you in a stronger position when seeking out your dream home. Not to mention your power of intent! Once you know which factors you refuse to negotiate on, by not letting emotions run the show you can stand by your decisions.
Thanks to Andra Hopulele for influencing this article by, "House Hunting: Making Your Wish List"
Chow for now!
Rod Vermunt & Associates