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Goldilocks had a rough time selecting the perfect-sized chair. Do you feel that way about finding the right-sized home? Let these tips help you determine which type of home is “just right” for you–a tiny home, a sprawling estate, or something in between:
To determine how much space you need, look at what you have now and how well it meets your current needs. While the amount of square footage is important, of greater relevance is the allocation of that square footage. How many and what type of rooms are there? Think about how you use the various areas of your home. Where you could use more space and where could you cut back?
Next, think about future needs. If you will be starting or adding to your family, you will most likely want to include child-friendly spaces. If you are downsizing you will likely need fewer bedrooms, unless adult children or aging parents will be living with you.
Your home should be your sanctuary. Your dreams, therefore, play a significant role in the overall enjoyment of your home. Maybe you’ve been longing for a large kitchen with multiple ovens and a walk-in pantry. Perhaps you’d like an art studio with excellent natural light. Home theaters, finished basements, private home office space, or a separate laundry room with plenty of storage are just a few ideas that may be on your wish-list.
Outdoor living areas–often a covered patio and yard that feel like an extension of the home–are extremely popular today. They often include built-in seating areas as well as eating space, A/V systems, and outdoor kitchens, taking them well beyond the typical backyard barbecue patio. Gardens and play spaces blend into the yard to complete the oasis.
Homebuyers often think about bedrooms and kitchens, but overlook the necessity of storage in the discussion of space. The right amount of storage helps keep a home neat and organized, and allows for seasonal or rarely used items to be kept out of sight when they aren’t needed. Adequate storage keeps chaos at bay in everyday life.
Today’s basements are so much more than dark and dismal storage spaces. Basements have become an extension of the main living areas. Use a finished basement to incorporate one or more of the items from your wish-list.
Set a realistic budget that you can comfortably afford (not necessarily what the bank says you can afford). Make a list of all current expenses and those that you are anticipating, such as a new car or college tuition. Also, allow for savings. Remember that a larger home will have greater costs for taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance as well as the mortgage expense.