How To Separate Needs & Wants When Buying A Home

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a custom home or shopping existing homes, the process can be a bit overwhelming. Looking at all the possibilities, considering your options and learning about features can be stressful. When you try and weigh it all against your family’s needs and your budget, well it’s easy to see why the home buying process feels so intimidating.

 

In reality, building or buying a home should be an exciting journey that marks the beginning of a new adventure for your family. To take some of the stress out of the equation, we have a few tips to help you separate needs and wants. This will make it easier for you to make decisions and narrow down you options.

 

1. Ask yourself “What will my family look like five years down the road?”


Just about every decision you need to make when building or buying a home comes down to your family. Do you need to be in a great school district? Do you want a neighborhood with lots of school aged children? Is your family going to grow or will your kids be leaving the nest? Your answers to these questions determine location, size, floor plan and features, so it is a great starting point in the home buying process.

 

2. Consider what your work situation will be in the next five years.


Of course there is no way of knowing what will happen in the future, especially when it comes to work. Jobs come and go and career paths change, but it’s still something to consider. Your location impacts your daily commute to work, and if you have kids you can add the drive to school to your day as well. You may need extra space for a home office as well, which will effect the number of rooms you need as well as the floorplan.


3.Consider how you spend your free time now and how you want to in the future.

Are you someone that enjoys entertaining or family gatherings? If so, you may want to focus on features that will make your home an easy and fun place for dinner parties. Do you like spending time outdoors? If so, you’ll want to look at outdoor living spaces. And if you have hobbies, your new home will need to accommodate them as well.

 

4. Think about your long term plans.


Will this be the home you retire in or do you plan on owning a few homes in the next 5,10 or 20 years? If you’re buying the home you plan on retiring in, you can pay less attention to things that impact resale value. In this situation, simply focus on comfort features and things you enjoy from your living space. If you plan on selling the home at some point, you will want to think more carefully about how features and floor plan options impact resale value.

 

These questions just help you clarify what you really want and need from your next house, but they aren’t all inclusive. Use them as a jumping off point to figure out exactly what you’re looking for as you shop around. At the end of the day, your home is just that – yours! Be sure that you select flooring you love, appliances you look forward to using and an area that you’ll be proud to call home.

How To Separate Needs and Wants When Buying A Home

How To Separate Needs and Wants When Buying A Home

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a custom home or shopping existing homes, the process can be a bit overwhelming. Looking at all the possibilities, considering your options and learning about features can be stressful. When you try and weigh it all against your family’s needs and your budget, well it’s easy to see why the home buying process feels so intimidating.

 

In reality, building or buying a home should be an exciting journey that marks the beginning of a new adventure for your family. To take some of the stress out of the equation, we have a few tips to help you separate needs and wants. This will make it easier for you to make decisions and narrow down your options.

 

1.Ask yourself “What will my family look like five years down the road?”


Just about every decision you need to make when building or buying a home comes down to your family. Do you need to be in a great school district? Do you want a neighborhood with lots of school aged children? Is your family going to grow or will your kids be leaving the nest? Your answers to these questions determine location, size, floor plan and features, so it is a great starting point in the home buying process.

 

2. Consider what your work situation will be in the next five years.


Of course there is no way of knowing what will happen in the future, especially when it comes to work. Jobs come and go and career paths change, but it’s still something to consider. Your location impacts your daily commute to work, and if you have kids you can add the drive to school to your day as well. You may need extra space for a home office as well, which will affect the number of rooms you need as well as the floor plan.


3.Consider how you spend your free time now and how you want to in the future.

Are you someone that enjoys entertaining or family gatherings? If so, you may want to focus on features that will make your home an easy and fun place for dinner parties. Do you like spending time outdoors? If so, you’ll want to look at outdoor living spaces. And if you have hobbies, your new home will need to accommodate them as well.

 

4. Think about your long term plans.


Will this be the home you retire in or do you plan on owning a few homes in the next 5,10 or 20 years? If you’re buying the home you plan on retiring in, you can pay less attention to things that impact resale value. In this situation, simply focus on comfort features and things you enjoy from your living space. If you plan on selling the home at some point, you will want to think more carefully about how features and floor plan options impact resale value.

 

These questions just help you clarify what you really want and need from your next house, but they aren’t all inclusive. Use them as a jumping off point to figure out exactly what you’re looking for as you shop around. At the end of the day, your home is just that – yours! Be sure that you select flooring you love, appliances you look forward to using and an area that you’ll be proud to call home.

 

Simple & Budget Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips For New Homeowners

From creating memories and new traditions to the simple joy of decorating your home for the season, home ownership can feel extra special during the holidays. For new homeowners, this is especially true, but it might also come with a few extra stressors due to the initial cost of getting into a home. Fortunately, you can decorate for the season on a budget with a little thought and planning. 

 

The following tips can help new homeowners enjoy their first Christmas with simple, budget friendly and versatile decorating ideas. 

 

Adopt a new color scheme

You don’t have to buy a lot of Christmas decorations to have a holiday-themed home. By incorporating the colors of the season into your general decor, you can create a strong holiday aesthetic. Green and red throw pillows, winter-themed wreaths and centerpieces all give off holiday vibes without being overtly Christmas themed. And while poinsettias, holly and the Christmas cactus are traditional house plants for this time of year, you don’t have to switch out your current plants for the holidays. You can simply tie red and green ribbons around your house plants, or use holiday-colored foil to wrap their pots. 

 

Embrace mood lighting

Lighting can be a powerful tool for creating atmosphere in your home. It can also be an affordable way to change up the look and feel of your home for the holidays. From green and red Christmas lights, to twinkling white lights that you can use any time of the year, lighting is a quick and easy decorating option. Since you can use some colors year around, it can also be a versatile way to decorate multiple occasions. You can keep your utility costs in control by using lighting only after dark. 

 

Candle accents

Everyone loves candles, so it makes sense to play them up during the holiday season. It’s more budget friendly to opt for seasonal scents over seasonal colors so that you can display your candles for a longer period of time. You can also use battery powered candles around the home. These are completely safe options that allow you to light up areas where a real candle might be not optimal. Many of these twinkle and create a very warm, life-like glow. 

 

Use gifts as decorations

You’re used to gifts piling up under your tree, but why not let your gifts do double duty this year as decorations! By using beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons, you can create display worthy presents that make your entire home feel more holiday-like. Place them in small groups around your home, perhaps with a small figurine or other more traditional decoration. This is a budget friendly way of transforming your home for the holidays. 

 

There you have it, simple and affordable ways to make your first Christmas even more special in your new home. You can also find some visual inspiration if you’re looking for some extra holiday-themed decorating ideas.

 

And if you’re dreaming of your very own custom home in the upcoming year, we have some additional inspiration for in our gallery!

Easy Winter Maintenance Tips For New Homeowners

If you’re a new home owner, or just dream of home ownership, you might be surprised at the seasonal work that comes with the territory. From tending the lawn all summer, to protecting your pipes against the cold, there are many things you should know about caring for your own home. Many people learn as they go, fixing problems that pop up due to harsh weather, precipitation and changing temperatures. This might leave you with costly repairs that could have been prevented with a little up front maintenance.

The following tips are easy to do, even if you’re not handy, but can help prevent damage, reduce utility bills and make life as a homeowner a lot more enjoyable!

 

Seal cracks and gaps around windows

Make your windows more airtight for the winter by sealing cracks and gaps. You can get weather kits at most home improvement and hardware stores to get you started. These often include detailed instructions to make installation even easier. This Old House offers some tips in this video if you’re looking for additional guidance.

 

Stop door drafts 

Doors can let in a lot of cold air during the winter even when they’re closed if they don’t seal properly, leading to high heating bills and a less cozy home. You can install door draft stoppers on every entry door to stop drafts in their tracks. These are easy to install, you simply peel the backing off and stick the material to the bottom edge of your door. A quick visit to your local hardware or home improvement store will get you started.

 

Winterize outdoor faucets

Freezing temperatures can be brutal on your pipes, especially outdoor faucets. Save yourself future inconvenience, and repair bills, by draining and insulating your outdoor faucets. The most simple way to do this is to purchase a kit designed to cover and seal outdoor spigots. These are inexpensive and come with easy to follow instructions.

 

Clean the gutters and downspouts

Gutters and downspouts protect your home from accumulating moisture, ushering water away from your roof and your foundation. If they are clogged with debris, or otherwise not functional, they can’t do their job. Cleaning these before the storms come will help protect your home. Simply removing debris by hand works, but you can also use a hose to flush them out. Here are some additional tips if you’re new to gutter maintenance.

 

HVAC upkeep

Your HVAC system works just about all year long, but sometimes people forget that filters need changed in the winter too! Not only will this help improve your indoor air quality, it’s equally important for airflow during the heating season as it is in the summer. Help yourself stay on track by putting a “change filter” reminder on your family’s calendar.

 

Last but not least, protect your pipes from freezing during cold snaps by keeping cabinet doors open to sinks that share external walls. You can also insulate pipes in unheated areas of your home and  let cold water drip from sinks to prevent freezing. All it takes is a small drip during the coldest hours to help save your pipes.

Tips on selecting the right floor plan

Other than curb appeal, a home’s floor plan is one of the top features that homeowners consider when looking at homes, and for good reason! It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or building, your future’s home layout will play a big role in your comfort. With so many options available, how can you find the right floor plan for you? 

 

It can be difficult to weigh the pros and cons of floor plans, but the following tips can help you zone in on what’s most important to you and your family. 

 

Consider your lifestyle

One way to compare floor plans is to think about your overall lifestyle. This allows you to more closely match how you use a home with available features and different layouts. For instance, if you love entertaining and having family get-togethers, you may want a formal dining room and a great kitchen. Or maybe it’s more important that you have spacious walk-in closets and storage than natural lighting and sunset views. All of these things should play into your decision. Just remember, you want to think about today and several years down the road as well.  

 

Consider your family plans

Houses are long term purchases, so it makes sense to include your long-term plans into your decision. Are you thinking of growing your family in the near future? If so, you’ll want room to grow, and maybe extra space for a playroom or nursery. If your family is going to be leaving the nest in a couple years, you may want less space and more room to entertain. Do you plan on retiring in the home? If that’s a possibility, you’ll want to consider how you’ll be able to utilize your home as you age. All of these decisions are important when looking at possible floor plans. 

 

Consider your “must have” features

Another way to compare floor plans is to consider your top features and weigh them against your options. To do this, make a list of things you can’t live without and a list of things that would be nice, if possible. Do this before you look at any options to keep from being influenced by the visuals of any potential home. After you have a solid list, then you can start looking at contenders. This allows you to really hone in on what’s important to you!

 

Vaulted ceilings or not? Enclosed deck for morning coffee or panoramic views of the rising sun? Upgraded kitchen with formal dining or a rumpus room? There are so many options when you look at a new home that it can be overwhelming. And since home ownership is such a large commitment, every little decision can seem more difficult. By using these tips, you can sharpen your list of wants and be confident in whatever decisions you make. 

 

Ready to look at floor plans? We have some great options to get your imagination going!