10 Things to Keep in Mind When Searching for your Dream Home!

When creating your house hunting checklist you will want to be sure that you have your needs, wants and bonuses clearly defined. At the core of that list you want to emphasize what it is that you, your family, and your lifestyle requires in order to live a happy healthy life in your new home. We have compiled 20 things to add to that list to increase your chances of finding the perfect dream home for YOU!

1. Location
Think of work, lifestyle and future developments nearby. Are the developments going to add to or hinder to your current lifestyle? Do you need easy access to transit systems? Does your job require a lot of commuting and travel? Do you want to be close to friends? family? Your favourite shops and restaurants? (Hey no judgement here, its pretty nice having your favourite deli just around the corner!). Whatever it may be the location should add to you quality of life.

2. Smell
Take a moment, or two, or three. Scratch that, make it a solid 30+ minutes (with a hired professional on site) and sniff out issues like poor ventilation or mould. Depending on the underlying cause not all issues are just a quick fix with air freshener or a deep clean. You may need an inspector to come in to check for things like leaks, animal matter or poor airflow in the home.

3. Floors
This can range from things as simple as deciding id you want hardwood, laminate or carpeting around your home and whether or not you care to make those changes yourself after purchase. At the more extreme end of it, things like slants in the floor can signal MAJOR structural issues that you are not prepared to deal with yourself.

4. Lighting
Evaluate the flow of natural light at different times of day. Depending on your preferences and hours at home you may want a space that fills with light at certain times of the day. You may not be a plant but science does say that a safe amount of natural sunlight is good for the soul! You will also want to consider what the lighting situation is like throughout the home. Are there enough fixtures, pot lights vs other more traditional styles of lighting could lead to a longer discussion that you would have guessed prior to your search. Many situations with lighting can be fixed and adjusted over time, a factor that could effect the ease of this is what your electrical wiring is like throughout the home.

5. Rooms
You will want to pay attention to the size and layout of your bedroom with your specific furniture in mind. I am sure we all have had an experience where we were a little too confident about our couch choice and had an all too famous, "PIVOT, PIVOT" Ross Geller moment. Be considerate of how you plan to arrange your furniture and even take measurements of items that you absolutely want to bring with you. The other thing you will want to consider when thinking of your rooms and layout is how those rooms are placed throughout each floor. If you are a parent with small kids do you want everyone on the same floor? Do you want to be sure that you have a main floor bedroom for yourself, a parent, or guests? Have a general idea in mind for how you want to utilize those rooms in your first 2 years, then maybe your 5th years and maybe your 10th year. How do you see yourself growing into the space over the next 10 years or do you expect to make another move by then?

6. Parking
There isn't much to say here other than be realistic with yourself and confirm that there is space for your household needs. A Significant other could come along, kids grow up, maybe you need a tent/roommate and what you once thought was easily done with on street parking may now be the source of a lot of headaches.

7. Laundry
Is there laundry on site? In your home? If not, you will want to be sure there is a place close by to make the task less daunting over time. Or, consider pricing out and any potential regulations for a condo building in regards to setting up your own in your home. If you are looking at a house look for where the laundry hookups are and if that is ideal for you. Will you need to be taking laundry up and down 3/4 flights of stairs? Do you prefer having laundry right by one of the entrances? 

8. Storage
First off, we are big fans of the Home Edit and whenever it is time to move it is a GREAT idea to do an edit. See what is worth keeping, donating and throwing away. Then ensure that wherever you move there will be enough space to store your things i.e. clothing, décor, family memories, office stuff, toys etc. Have a strategy in mind for how you want to store everything and that could help make packing and then unpacking easier in the end.

9. Staging
Remember to look beyond décor to the things you care about most. The home may be staged exactly to your liking with your sense of style. In other cases it may not be, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work for you.

10. Kitchen and Bathroom
This is another area where is is a good idea to get an inspector to come by when viewing a home you really love to understand what could be going on under the surface. Not all pretty bathrooms are perfect and not all plain bathrooms are all bad. Pay close attention to avoid costly repairs and consider a budget if the bathroom just needs some touch ups to make it a little more to your liking.