When buying a home, it is easy to get caught up in emotions such as love at first site. This can lead to disaster. The best way to buy a home is to apply your daily life to it.
What Do You Do Daily?
Ask yourself what a typical day is like. Then, for any home that seems like a real possibility, think about how you’d handle a typical day there. Can family members shower and dress in a timely fashion without getting into each other’s way terribly? Is there a good place to put on make-up? If someone needs something quickly touched up with an iron, can you picture a way to handle that?
Picture the way you and other family members handle breakfast and lunch preparations if they’re made at home. Can you see that flowing well here?
What about evenings? Do you cook dinner at home and dine together as a family regularly? Is there adequate counter space near the sink, refrigerator, and stove? Can you picture preparing a typical meal in comfort in this kitchen?
If you have school age children, what about homework? Do you and they like a homework “station” near where you’re working in the kitchen tidying up after dinner and near where you’re catching up a few chores after that? Or do they do homework in their rooms? Can a computer station, good light, etc. be arranged where it’s needed?
What about exercise? Does one or more family members take a daily run? Use exercise equipment indoors? If so, where would these things take place?
Weekly Chores and Hobbies
Are there grocery stores, dry cleaners, a library, a farmers’ market, or whatever retailers and service providers you and your family use regularly near this home? If not, how would you handle that? Does the home have places suitable for any messy hobbies that matter to you and yours? Does anyone refinish furniture, build models, work with clay, paint pictures? Can you find a reasonable place for those activities?
What about the “enrichment” activities you have your children enrolled in? How would you handle getting them to hockey practice, dance class, and the like? Can they continue in the programs they’ve been in, or will you have to find new ones? Is the answer satisfactory?
Meaningful Infrequent Activities
If you’re changing geographic locations and have a choice of locating within, say, a fifty mile radius of your workplace, you might want to consider the possibility of locating in several different towns. “Trying on” living in each town can hinge on availability of activities you do infrequently, but enjoy greatly. For example, if you and your spouse really enjoy concerts and plays, you can check out what’s available in that realm in each town and then focus your attention on the one you like best.
You might even go to the trouble to write out a little “check list” of things that matter to you and judge each home you’re thinking is a good possibility by how it measures up. You might want to encourage other family members to do the same. This is apt to increase the chance of your finding a new home in which you’re all very pleased with the quality of life you develop after you move in.
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