If you’re like me preparing to buy your first home looks a lot like searching Pinterest for design ideas and the perfectly paired tile backsplash and countertops for the kitchen. I should have known that before I could focus on the little details, like if I liked white subway tile better with the white or gray grout, I needed to make a list of the big picture items my significant other and I had to have. When I first sit down with clients this is now the first question I ask, “What are the lifestyle impacting items you have to have in your home?”
Now what does that mean, “lifestyle impacting items?” What I’m asking is, “What does your current lifestyle look like and what will it look like in the next three to five years?” If you plan to only live in the home you’re buying for three years then you might be able to skip this question, but if you’re looking at anything over three years consider how you live and what that means for the space you’ll be living in.
Some questions to ask yourself and/or your spouse are:
- How long do you plan to live in this home
- Are you having kids in the next three to five years
- Do you entertain a lot and is it done inside or outside
- Do you have a dog and will that dog need a fenced yard
- If you currently have kids do you have a preference on school districts
- How far do you want to commute for work
- What do you want your monthly payments to be for your mortgage, home insurance, and property taxes
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you find a home you love. I never want you to move into a home you thought you’d love but you quickly realize your kitchen is too small for all the girlfriends you have over for wine night. Think about how you want to use your home and build your must-have list from there.
P.S. – I totally expect to be invited to wine night.