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This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage. All opinions are my own.
When my husband and I were shopping for our first house, our “must-have” list was fairly short. At the time that we were buying our first home, we had a toddler (yes, just one toddler!). We hardly gave a second thought to the quality of the schools. Three bedrooms seemed like plenty for our little family. Our number one criteria was an open kitchen with plenty of space. Oh, how things have changed! Today, our home buying must-have list looks slightly different than it did 20 years ago. We still value a spacious and open kitchen, but with 4 teenagers at home instead of one toddler, our criteria have changed quite a bit.
Our Home Buying Must-Haves
- Open, spacious kitchen with room for a crowd and a big table
- Minimum 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths
- Office space for both me and my husband
- Space for my LuLaRoe boutique
- Four walls that are all our own (and preferably plenty of space between our house and the next!)
- Space for a backyard garden
- Good schools
What must-haves are on your list for a new home, whether you’re in the market for a new house or not? We outgrew our little townhouse a while ago, and I love to imagine the home of our dreams. Of course, there are plenty of other items that are on my “ideal home” list, and the more I look at homes the more I realize that finding the “perfect” home that meets all our criteria is a challenge.
How to find your ideal home
Shopping for a new home is an exciting adventure. I love to imagine myself in each home that we look at – where we would put furniture, which kids would fit in which rooms, where I would run my at-home businesses. Here are a couple of tips for finding the ideal home for you and your family:
- Set your expectations for a new home before you start shopping – make a list of things that are most important in a new home.
- Separate must-haves from nice-to-haves – Which items on your list are deal-breakers and which items are things that you’d really like to have or that you may be able to add or fix once you’ve moved in?
- Visit each prospective home with a checklist – keeping a list of the things you’re looking for will help you see new homes more realistically versus seeing them emotionally.
- Get creative about spaces – you don’t have to use spaces for their traditional or intended uses. Because my husband and I both operate businesses from home, we often have to be creative and a little unconventional about our use of space.
- Think about how you’ll be using the spaces in your new home – what things do you like to do? Do you need space for hobbies or entertaining? Or are you like us and need work-from-home space?
- Look beyond the staging – don’t worry about things like wallpaper, paint, carpet…or even walls. Those things can be changed after the fact and shouldn’t be deal-breakers.
- Talk to the neighbors and walk around the neighborhood – the space outside your home is often even more important than the space inside your home, and while you can renovate rooms inside, the neighborhood (and neighbors) are often impossible to change. Sometimes finding the right home takes a leap of faith. It takes looking beyond the obvious and seeing the potential beneath the surface.
Check out “Your Guide to Home Buying,” where Suntrust Mortgage describes the home buying process from A to Z so that you can leave the worry behind and enjoy the process of buying a home. Visit Suntrust Mortgage for more information.
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