Before you begin shopping for your home, reviewing your lifestyle, both now and in the future will make a big difference in the type of home you may need. You will save time. You will define your goals. You are likely to find the home you want, quicker, because you will not waste your efforts viewing homes that do not meet your criteria.
Look at your lifestyle right now. Are there some areas you would like to change? Consider your lifestyle a few years from now? Will it remain the same? Will your needs increase or decrease? Will you need a small or large home to meet your lifestyle needs? Perhaps the attic or basement can be converted into additional living space.
Do you have preschoolers? In a few years they will be teenagers, perhaps looking to move out and establish their own home. Perhaps your children have already left and you do not need a large home. Do you have an idea of how long you would like to stay in your home? Two years? Five years?
Where do you spend the most time? Kitchen? Basement? Kitchens and family rooms are often gathering places. Be sure these areas are large enough.
What about entertaining? Do you need extra space to accommodate family functions? Could you convert the basement into a family area? Do small children need a play area, or teens need a recreation area?
How many bedrooms do you require? Some people like smaller spaces for children, a home office, or frequent guests.
Bathrooms are among the busiest place in the home. Can the bathroom handle the traffic?
Think about your employment situation. Will you be changing jobs, or accepting a promotion with another company in another location? If you are transferred, could you sell your home quickly? On another work-related matter, how much time do you want to spend driving to and from work each day? Do you rely on public transportation?
While it might take some thought to answer these questions, the effort translates into a home more flexible and suitable to your needs. The answers could also affect your resale value when it comes time to sell or upgrade. Or, if you are planning to remain in your home for a while, a different home may be more suitable.