Maria DiCarlo's Blog
If relocation and house hunting is in the foreseeable future for you and your family, making a list of requirements and preferences will help ensure that you're satisfied with your next home.
Checklists are available from a variety of sources, including real estate agents and The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
While it's nearly impossible to find an affordable property that's a short drive from everywhere and that meets all your requirements, creating a prioritized list will help you clarify your goals and help you get the real estate features that are the most important to you and your family. Having a well organized list of priorities will also make it easier and more practical for your real estate agent to locate properties for sale that are aligned with your needs and preferences.
While the ideal home should be comfortably close to jobs, schools, childcare, and supermarkets, there are other conveniences and necessities that are sometimes overlooked by home buyers. Here are a few additional items to consider:
- Medical and dental offices: Although it's difficult find the ideal house that also happens to be located just a short drive from all your family's medical and dental care providers, it's a goal worth considering when evaluating different properties. Being close to a preferred hospital can also be a desirable feature -- especially if you expect to be looking for top-quality maternity care in the near future.
- Houses of worship: If you and your family attend religious services several times a month, it would definitely make life easier to live a short distance from your favorite church, synagogue, or mosque.
- Automotive services: When you need an oil change, state inspection, AC maintenance, or car repair, it's much more convenient to have it taken care of close to home.
- Transportation: Whether this item ranks high or low on your priority list depends on how often you plan on traveling for work, business, vacations, college, or family visits. For some people, proximity to airports, train stations, bus depots, and major highways can be a major benefit.
- Recreational facilities: For families with active lifestyles, being close to tennis courts, golf courses, fitness clubs, playgrounds, walking trails, and other recreation facilities would be considered a big "plus". For others... not so much.
- Entertainment: Again, it depends on individual lifestyles, but some people enjoy going to the movies, restaurants, concerts, and the theater on a regular basis.
Once you have moved into a new home, you’re going to want to make it look amazing with some nice furniture. If you’re in too much of a hurry, you can make some very common furniture buying mistakes that will cost you more than just the money you have wasted on furniture. Read on before you begin filling that new home with sofas, chairs, and tables.
You Don’t Plan For Style Or Practicality
If you’re a young couple moving into your first home, you probably have a lot of plans for the future. Children may possibly be a part of those plans someday. Remember that a $3,000 leather sofa may look really great when it’s just the two of you. Fast forward a couple of years to the terrible twos and envision permanent marker all over that beloved couch. Keep in mind that the lifespan of heavily used furniture is anywhere between 7 to 10 years.
Even if children aren’t in your future plans, the same problems are true for pets. If you don’t have a dog and purchase the expensive sofa knowing that you have plans to get a dog, you should think twice. Pets can claw furniture and leave behind clumps of pet hair. If you have plans for children, pets, or both, consider the type of fabric that you’ll have on the furniture carefully. It’s important to select pieces of furniture that suit your life, budget, and aspirations.
You Buy Everything At Once
It can be tempting when you have an empty house to try and buy all of your furniture at once. If you buy everything at the same time, you won’t have any room for flexibility to buy pieces to add to your collection from other stores at a later date. The best way to approach filling an empty house is to buy the big necessities first, then fill the rest of your home as you find what you like and need.
You Forgot To Measure
Imagine this: You just bought your dream bedroom set. The delivery people come to the house to drop it off, and it doesn’t fit in the space! When we see things in the store, we often make every effort in our minds to convince ourselves that it will look good in our home. The reality is that furniture needs to fit in order for it to actually “work” in a room. Before you even set out to buy furniture, take measurements of every room that you’re shopping for. Have the list handy of all these numbers that you can refer to.
Finding the right furniture comes down to avoiding impulse buys for these big purchases. Planning is everything when it comes to filling your new home with furnishings that will last the test of time and design.
Not all upscale upgrades have to break the bank. Often times small upscale upgrades can fit in most people's budgets. However, because it is associated with a high end and expensive home they assume it couldn't’ possibly work within the average wallet. Today we’ll focus on the details that are small changes but make a drastic difference.
To create a sleek, clutter-free workspace install a built-in soap dispenser. Say goodbye to unsightly plastic bottles with their gunked up tops. Built-in soap dispensers come in many finishes and styles you are sure to find one that matches your existing decor. Hide the neon green soap that clashes with your decor without giving it up altogether.
Peel and stick tile is a great option for two camps. The first is those looking for a quick and easy solution to add color and visual interest. The second is those who want a temporary solution they can easily swap out down the line. You can finally try out the subway tile look without the commitment to, or work of, the trend.
Bring in a fresh look to your kitchen by installing new faucets. Swap out your existing finishes for something updated and new. Alternatively, you can update your faucet with a new updated style. High arc faucets with a pull-down sprayer are a popular option at the moment. Or make a chic statement with a stylish 2 handle bridge faucet.
If your walls and cabinetry are feeling flat and boring adding millwork will make your kitchen feel one-of-a-kind with some old-school class. Measure out the perimeter of your walls, go out your favorite style of molding and get creative. Install millwork along where the walls meet the ceiling, where the walls meet the floor or even along the middle to create a chair rail.
Pick out a bright, new color to add to your kitchen and pick up a couple of cans of paint for a weekend project. Add a pop of color to white walls or if you have a colorful kitchen paint the walls white. Reach for a choice that contrasts with your current decor for the biggest impact. Neutrals make a room feel high end while bold colors can make a stylish statement.
New hardware can update cabinets without tearing them out to start anew. Depending on your flavor of luxury look for either more detailed options or those that are starkly minimalist. Bar handles are very on trend and perfectly encapsulate the minimalist look. For a more classy, detailed option look through Antique shops or on Etsy for vintage sets. And while nothing beats, the real thing there are many vintage-inspired options for those who don’t love the thrill of an antique hunt.
If you plan to purchase a house soon, you may want to narrow your home search. In fact, there are many reasons why you should hone your house search, and these include:
1. You can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
The homebuying journey may seem tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced property buyer. Thankfully, narrowing a home search enables you to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Ultimately, a refined home search allows you to focus exclusively on residences in your preferred cities and towns. This will make it simple for you to find houses that fall within your price range, set up home showings to view these residences and proceed accordingly.
It also may be beneficial to craft a list of home must-haves and wants before you conduct a house search. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can further accelerate the homebuying journey.
2. You can act quickly to acquire your dream house.
As a homebuyer, you must be ready to pounce at the opportunity to purchase your dream house. Because if you hesitate during the homebuying journey, you may miss out on the chance to buy your ideal residence.
If you narrow your home search, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to act quickly to submit an offer to purchase a great house at an affordable price. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, you then can move one step closer to acquiring your dream home.
3. You can avoid wasting time and resources.
When it comes to finding a home, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can avoid the risk of wasting time and resources throughout the homebuying journey.
With a refined home search, you can increase the likelihood of maximizing your time and resources. A refined home search ensures you can focus solely on residences that you are sure to enjoy and avoid houses that are unlikely to match your expectations. Then, you can find your ideal home and transform your homeownership dream into a reality.
As you get ready to start a house search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you evaluate residences.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a house in any city or town. He or she will learn about you and your homebuying goals and offer personalized home search tips. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and ensure you can make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Take the guesswork out of finding the right house at the right price – hire a real estate agent, and you can receive expert assistance as you search for your ideal residence.