As you begin, unless you have an unusual need, your first pass in your home search should focus on just a few key factors: Price, Location and Size. There are things that you can and should add in, if they are important to you, like a garage. But don’t turn down a home that has everything you want for something that can be added, modified or corrected relatively easily. Don’t walk away from your dream home because it doesn’t have a fence. Check neighborhood guidelines so you can add one!
For us, our priorities shook out this way:
- Price – This resulted in us going with our second choice for the neighborhood. We couldn’t afford what we wanted in our favorite neighborhood.
- Location – I really, really wanted to back up to water…part of the problem with neighborhood number 1…those lots were very expensive. We were able to get a waterfront lot by going with a less expensive neighborhood a little farther away from town.
- Location again – Now that we had started our family, having lived on a main road in our first neighborhood, I wanted to make sure that our second house was on a cul-de-sac. A little safer for small children.
- Size – Number of bedrooms and bathrooms, followed by overall square footage. We had the cul-de-sac and we had the neighborhood lake (just 7 acres but plenty for me), but the builder who had the lot we really wanted had decided the house needed to have more of a vacation home feel to it. His plans for this home were totally impractical for a growing family. And he refused to consider other plans, even though he was a custom builder. So we took the lot next door, with a much more flexible builder and while we didn’t change too much of the structure, we did remove some walls that were not load bearing and opened the floor plan up a bit. In addition, the lot allowed us to be able to put in a daylight basement. That way, if we wanted to add more completed living area in the future, we had the unfinished space available.
Today, after 30 years, we are headlong into remodeling and updating our home, a trend I see up and down our street now. We love our lot and our neighborhood still, after all these years. And our home is just that, a home. It is my goal to work together to find the best home for you, as well.
Next time: Price, Your Number One Priority