There are dozens of factors to consider when shopping for a new home — ranging from property taxes and school district quality to square footage and roof condition. As you may be discovering, balancing your priorities and meeting your family’s needs can be an overwhelming process!

What’s Important to You?

While just about everyone factors in daily commuting distance in their decision, other key needs and considerations are often overlooked. There’s certainly no “one size fits all” strategy for picking the perfect house, but getting your thoughts down on paper is a good starting point.

If you have children or are expecting new arrivals in the near future, your priorities will be a lot different than someone at a later (or earlier) stage in life. For example, you might want to research local hospitals to identify the best maternity care options. Being close to public parks, playgrounds, and nursery schools would also be highly desirable for young families.

Depending on your lifestyle, you might also prefer a home that’s not too far from restaurants, concert venues, and movie theaters. If physical activity and sports are a big part of your life, then nearness to golf courses, tennis courts, and hiking trails might be worth considering.

Other Convenience Factors

You may have noticed in perusing real estate ads that many of them mention proximity to major highways, public transportation, and local airports. Whether your goal is to explore the region or simply navigate your way to doctors’ appointments, job interviews, shopping centers, or business meetings, access to a variety of transportation options can make life a lot less stressful.

By clarifying the features and conveniences in a home that are most important to you, your overall satisfaction with your final choice will be a lot higher. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t stay somewhat flexible in your requirements. Virtually all real estate purchases involve a few trade-offs and compromises. For example, if an urban lifestyle appeals to you, then a two-car garage and large backyard are probably not going to be part of the package.

As far as the actual layout and design of your living space, key features which could make your daily routine easier are a first-floor laundry room, spacious closets, and easy-to clean, energy-efficient windows.

For some people, the ideal home may include a rec room, a workshop, and a home office. A lot depends on your past experiences, your goals, and your personal passions. Having the ability to predict future needs will be invaluable in choosing a home that you and your family will be delighted with for years to come.

Comparing Features and Amenities

When you stop and think about your “wish list,” your “must haves”, and the dozens of property features you’ll be evaluating, it underscores the importance of being methodical and organized. If those two qualifies are not among your personal strengths, don’t worry! Your real estate agent can provide you with guidance, checklists, and day-to-day help in evaluating and comparing the many property choices available to you.

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