Photo by James Thompson

Buying a home is always both exciting and challenging, whatever stage of life you’re at, and there are many considerations to take in along the way.

It’s likely that we all shared the same experiences with housing when we were younger; living with parents, followed by going off to college and living in dorms, before moving into crumbling houses or apartments shared with five other people! But when you finally get to purchase your own home, it’s a much bigger commitment that takes a lot of thought.

If it’s just you and your partner buying a starter home then you need to think about your current needs, and location is everything. Is this an okay distance to commute to work every day? Is the highway near enough to drive to easily without being so close that we hear traffic from our garden? Is it too close/too far from the city centre? Are there shops and parks nearby? It all depends what you want to have near or far from your home.

As for the future, are you planning to have kids soon? You should think about how a home can adapt to the needs of a growing family. Are there enough bedrooms? Is there room for an addition? Is the street safe for kids to play on? All of these are important long-term considerations.

If you’ve outgrown your current home and need to upsize, there’s a world of things to consider: are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms, and is there room in the budget to add more? Do you need a study for work? Does your son or daughter need a large outdoor space to train for the hockey or basketball team? Make a list of your family’s needs and present them to your realtor when beginning your search.

And if you’ve decided to downsize from a large family home as you grow older, think about the location: do you want to be in a busy family neighbourhood or would you rather be in a quieter area? Do you have mobility issues and need a one-level home with specially fitted bathrooms? When you grow older a home should have the ability to adapt to your changing needs. And most importantly, there should be a manageable sized garden where you can grow your prize-winning roses!

When looking to buy a home, sit down and really think about what you want and what you need from your new home. Make a top-five list, and make you give this to your realtor and keep it mind yourself as you search for the home that’s perfect for you.

If the home isnt just right – it is OK to consider buying the home and then remodeling it.  Much of the remodeling investments made every year in the US are made by home buyers who are customizing or updating their purchase.  You can get an instant cost estimate for some of the most common remodeling projects at like bathroom remodeling costs, kitchens, basements, attics and even your whole new house.