Is a house right for you?

Picking out a new home can be terrifying but how do you pick the right house for you? Here are some basic tips to think about when looking at homes:

Set your priorities:

Before taking a look at any houses, sit down and write out everything you want in a home, with input from all members of the household. Then choose your top five, or even top three, must-haves. Use a comparison chart to remember all the details between houses you view.

Don’t expect perfection:

It’s nearly impossible to find a perfect house. So think in terms of how you can make this your perfect home by making few changes to the things you don’t like.

Choose a floor plan, not the finishes:

You can change out finishes, such as tile, paint and countertops, for less money than changing a floor-plan. Choose a house with a dining room, kitchen and living area that are the right size for your life, then tweak the finishes later.

Don’t choose based on investment:

For most people, a house is also a home—a source of comfort, safety, happiness, entertainment and well-being. A home that’s a great financial investment is only a smart choice if it satisfies your need for home comforts, as well.

Choose the neighborhood, not just the house:

If you have to decide between a great house in an area that doesn’t appeal to you, or a house that’s slightly less appealing in a neighborhood of people with similar values, interests, and ages, choose the latter. It can mean great social opportunities for the entire family.

Don’t just buy for right now, plan for the future:

Think about not just what you want today but what you might want in the future. If down the road you were to decide you wanted to add a deck, an extra room or a backyard studio, would that be possible? Are you planning a family and will that home accommodate that?

Buy a life, not an address:

No matter how lovely a home is, if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, it won’t make you happy in the long run. If you’re a hiker, a charming house near the city’s center won’t be a good match. If you love to cook, a lovely house with a tiny galley kitchen will eventually disappoint. And if you’re big entertainers, a house without decks, a big yard, and lots of room to park will become a frustration.

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