bank accountEveryone has a different idea as to what their dream home should look like. However, there are some generalities associated with finding the perfect home. Prior to the beginning of a house hunting adventure, it’s a good idea to prepare a list of “must-haves”, as well as a wish list for the criteria you want your new home to meet.

Location is often high on the priority list when searching for a home. Location encompasses more than just how close the house is to work or school. It’s proximity to shopping areas and restaurants may also be a matter of importance. The overall appearance of the neighborhood ties in with the location aspect of a house. It’s always a good idea to drive around the neighborhood where your potential dream home is located. Visit the area in the evening and on a weekend to get a good assessment of the neighborhood activity.  For instance, if you want homes in Tallahassee, why would you not visit there first?  You surely would.

A final aspect concerning location involves the way the house is situated on the lot. Consider some of the following questions as food for thought when assessing the location of a house. Can your neighbors look directly down on your patio or pool area? How close are the houses? Is the house situated on a hill? How difficult would it be to mow the lawn?

Another element of the decision making process involves the size of the house. Buying a house that is substantially larger than you need means you will be paying higher taxes, a higher insurance premium and more maintenance costs than if you selected a smaller house that is sufficiently sized. Larger isn’t always better. It’s important to consider the size of the house in regard to any lifestyle changes you may be anticipating such as getting married or having children.

One of the first things most people do when they buy a house is personalize it. When you’re looking at potential homes, consider how much work it will take to personalize the house. Painting is a quick fix for a color scheme that doesn’t match your personality. Replacing flooring and counter tops is fairly simple. However, if you’re think about knocking out walls to renovate the house, you can expect to spend quite a bit of money and endure a waiting period for the work to be completed.

A simplified plan for finding the ideal home is to decide on the location you want and the amount of flexibility you’re willing to have in that area. Cosmetic issues are easy to handle but the location is something you can’t change. Staying within your budget area when looking at houses will eliminate the temptation to over extend your finances.