There's always that little something; A yard that's too small, storage space you don't have, or the neighbor with the annoying dog that keeps you up all night. Sometimes when you're searching for your "dream home" you have to compromise other features just to have the walk in closet you've always wanted. However, after time your compromised decisions start to creep up on you and that's when you decide it's time for a new home again.
Now while some home flaws can be fixed, most are very costly. Putting a lot of money into a home you don't plan to stay in for a while also can be a waste of an investment. The best solution is to not make the same mistakes the next time around. Know the different home features you aren't willing to compromise when it actually boils down to the decision making.
1. Storage, Storage, and More Storage
There is no such thing as too much storage. No potential home buyer ever walked out of a house by thinking, "I like the place, but there were far too many closets." With that said, a good staging job can hide the fact that a home has minimal amounts of storage space.
It will pay off to take the extra ten minutes and visualize your furniture and belongs in the place. You should also measure the room and compare it to your current situation.
2. Make Sure the Commute is Worth the Commitment
One of the biggest factors that home owners don't research into before buying is their commute time. A mere 15 miles can take a lot longer depending on whether you're going "with" or "against" traffic.
Do the actual commute beforehand and make sure it will be something you can handle on a weekly basis, for at least a few years to come.
If you had long commutes in the past and are looking for a better alternative, find a home that is within walking or biking distance to your work. With rising gas prices, more and more Americans are steering towards public transportation.
3. Test Out the Waters of the Neighborhood
Whether it be the guy who mows the lawn at the crack of dawn or the Saturday night party house, every neighborhood has the well-known unconventional neighbor. It's important to know who you will or will not have a tolerance for.
Make sure to chat up some of the neighbors. Find out if there are any existing problems such as a string of crimes in the area and make sure to ask the important questions up front. Visiting during the morning or evening rush hour is also a smart move.
4. Make Sure the Home Fits Your Car
It might be a great home, but is there enough parking for your family with three cars? Garages, driveways, and street parking are all quite different and may not work for your particular lifestyle.
If you don't normally like parking your car in the garage, save yourself the money by purchasing a condo or town home where you don't end up paying for that added feature. If you do need the garage, make sure your large truck will fit in it before you sign that contract.
Some neighborhoods have rules about parking on the street. It's smart to check any stipulations before buying.
5. Test Out The Water
If you are showering while someone does laundry, are you going to get scolded or get a blast of cold water?
If you need to be running multiple things at a time, make sure the home can handle it. The bigger family you have, the more people you will need to be able to accomodate.
6. Make Sure Not To Lose Your Privacy
One factor that is often overlooked in a home is privacy. It's essential to walk around and get a feel for what it's like to actually live in the home. If you are staring out your bedroom window, you don't want to be staring into your next door neighbor's shower. And if you're one of those that like to walk around in your underwear, make sure those big bay windows aren't revealing your private side.
Take a few minutes to take a short test run and think about the home and what you plan on doing there. The home should not only fit you, but your lifestyle.
All in all, make sure the next home you buy has all of the qualities you find non-negotiable. Make a list of your non-negotiables. Are you willing to sacrifice that huge yard for a private fenced area? Or that home with the granite counter tops for the home with more storage space? Compare factors from your current situation to evaluate what it is you do and do not like and next time you buy a home remember these few must-have qualities.
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