We run into the following scenarios all the time. A client buys what they think is their forever home only to out grow it, or realize the layout doesn’t work as their family grows or the stairs don’t work as they age, sometimes the open concept becomes a little to open or that big brick mansion becomes too cumbersome to maintain. Whatever the reason is, the client now finds themselves faced with a move but worried that the next purchase won’t be for the long haul either. Let’s face it, moving is a chore! Here are some things to consider that may help minimize the number of times you have to pack up and start all over.
The first thing to consider should come as no surprise, it’s location. You’ll need to think both short and long term. Sure, being next to a park or school is great when your children are young but do you want that noise and busy-ness near your home even after you’ve come empty nesters? On the flip side, being far out in the country may appeal when your single but once you have kids well, let’s face it, you basically become an Uber driver for them for 16 years! Will you get tired of commuting and wish you were closer to schools, doctors, parks and more?
The next item to think about in terms of now and in the future is the exterior of the home. What type and size yard will or will not work? Do you want to be staring into your neighbor’s house (or them into yours) or, do you want some room to spread out? Do you enjoy mowing, gardening, shoveling snow…and do you have the ability to handle it during any phase of life? Do you have pets or plan on homesteading either now or in the future? If so, city life may be short lived for you. What about that pool? Tempting, isn’t it? Can you and do you want to, afford the long-term upkeep? Take a good look around, if there’s new home construction or proposed new home construction, is that something you’ll be happy putting up with for a little while?
Now onto the interior of the home. This one is harder but not impossible. As you look around try to envision how the space would function during all of life’s stages. For example, as a single person, (guys your future wife is probably going to need a walk-in closet!) a married couple, with young children, with teenagers, as empty nesters, and even as an aging person. Ask people who currently own homes what works and doesn’t work for them. One example, laundry that is located in the basement as opposed to on a main level. Think about where you grew up. Did you share a room or a bathroom? Is that something you want your kids to do as well?
Lastly, try not to get caught up in a bargain buy, or in the aesthetic of a newly renovated home. Look at the things that can’t or are much harder to change and see if they’ll function both now and in the future. Although we don’t have a crystal ball to tell us what the future beholds we can stop to think about the direction we are likely to head in and take the steps towards purchasing a home that makes that path easier to navigate.