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.