If you are buying a home, be careful not to rush into your decision too quickly. Buying a home isn't the same as buying a new coat... you can't just take it back if you decide it isn't the right fit!
In addition to objective criteria such as price, condition and the number of bedrooms and baths, it is important to also take into account location and subjective factors that can have an important bearing on your lifestyle and your satisfaction living in your new home.
Here are some questions to help you get a better sense of what means 'home' to you. I have had clients tell me they were surprised by what some of their answers revealed... most recently how the 'what will you miss the most' question is what really brought clarity, and what they learned came as a surprise!
1. Close your eyes and flip through mental pictures of different places you have lived...
- Stop at a favorite place(s)...what did you love about it?
- Stop at a least favorite place(s)...what didn't you like about it?
2. Think about your current home...
- What will you miss the most?
- What will you be happy to say goodbye to?
3. Describe how you live and how you use your space... do you anticipate or would you like to make any changes?
- Typical morning... who gets up when, what do you do?
- Typical day... is anyone at home, what do you do?
- Typical evening... what do you do, are you at home? where/how do you unwind?
- Typical weekend/time off... where do you go, what do you do?
- How do you entertain... how often, how many people, what do you do?
- Travel... are you often out of town, how long at a time?
4. Describe your new home...
- What does the neighborhood look and feel like?
- What do you see, hear, smell?
- What does your home look like?
- What's around it?
- What does it look and feel like inside?
- Do you see potential beyond what's there now or do you just want to move in?
These are just starting points... use them to inspire further thought/discussion about what is important to you. Remember to think how about you would actually use the space and live in the neighborhood when looking at a potential home.
What becomes your 'a-ha' question is different for everyone, and may come as a surprise. Your home should be your sanctuary where you come to be refreshed and energized... if it doesn't fit you and your lifestyle it can have a profound effect on your life and your well-being.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Buyer's Agent