You Found ‘The One!’: How You’ll Know the House is Right for You
The elation of finding that perfect gem of a home in the right neighborhood is a great feeling. Getting to that feeling can be an emotional process! Not to mention the financial commitment of sealing the deal and making the payments for a few decades.
So how will you know when the stars have aligned, and you’ve found the right house for you? Here are some signs to watch for that will tell you it’s ‘The One’:
1. It Feels Right
No, really, this is actually a very powerful sign! Sometimes our intuition knows things our logical brain takes longer to articulate. If a house feels cheery and inviting, there are features about the home that is important. Perhaps it has good lighting and lots of windows or the design concept creates a feeling that relaxes you.
If the house doesn’t feel stuffy, you know that the ventilation system is probably in good working order. In a similar way that sometimes a house just feels wrong, a house can absolutely also just feel right! Trust those instincts. After all, when you return home after a hard day at work, don’t you want to feel cheered, relaxed, or whatever great emotion you initially felt?
Bonus tip: Work through the feelings to get to the logic. Why did it feel right? If there was an instant curbside appeal, work to identify the components of that appeal. Was it the right landscaping? Great maintenance? Feelings have a basis in fact, so find out what that allure tracks back to for a better understanding of the aspects you desire in a home.
2. It Fits Your Current Lifestyle
Finding a good fit is as important to your home as it is to anything in life. Fit can be defined in a variety of ways. A good fit definitely has to do with size, so perhaps it’s right-sized for your life, has the right amount of storage, is all on one level, or meets other space requirements you have deemed important.
There may be other key features of the home, such as accessibility to certain rooms of the house, that are also important fits. Consider the life you actually lead, not the dream life many of us live in our minds. If you don’t actually like to entertain, do not be swayed by an expansive kitchen you will never fully use. If you hate to garden, it may not matter how large the backyard is.
The property must be a fit for the lifestyle you regularly lead and enjoy. Fit can also mean access to important quality of life activities, such as parks, restaurants, and cultural events. The area should also be part of your equation when you tour this home. Drive around the neighborhood after you’ve been inside the home and see what it is really all about. Perhaps this location cuts your commute time, but at the very least it shouldn’t increase the time it takes you to get to work or to school.
The home should be convenient to and accommodate your current lifestyle, and it should be immediately obvious how the home and the neighborhood do accommodate or even improve your lifestyle.
3. It Matches with Your "Must-Haves" List
One of the most important steps to take before house hunting is to hammer out the list of requirements you must have in your new home. If you are living in this home with others, now is the time to get on the same page regarding this list.
A house that meets all the “wants” but doesn’t actually meet any of the “needs” will not be a good long-term home, no matter how pretty the paint job. A home will never grow an additional bedroom, for example, no matter how beautiful it is! One must-have on everyone’s list should be that the house fits into the budget. It is a real heartbreak to find the perfect home only to realize you cannot possibly afford it.
This also means you haven’t utterly wiped out your savings just to afford it! It is an unwritten law of buying a home that you will end up having to pay for something in your first year of ownership, so you don’t want to find yourself strapped for cash. Finding ‘The One’ means the house will meet all your identified needs.
Note: You might find yourself wanting to be flexible about this list because you are so attracted to a particular home. There is nothing wrong with this feeling but be sure to have a clear-headed look at what you would be giving up from your “must-haves” to make this home your own. We often find that our priorities change as we get into the actual process of touring homes. It’s good to let go of a “priority” that no longer suits us, as long as we’re not rationalizing a poor investment!
4. It Meets Home Inspection Standards & Realtor Advice
Buying a home is a long-term relationship, after all. You wouldn’t want to ignore the advice of your close friends, loved ones, or real estate experts and make a big mistake, right?
Similarly, just because the house looks great doesn’t mean that you should go forward if the home inspector returns with bad news about the wiring or the way the ground has been graded. That doesn’t mean the problems are insurmountable. But it is important to go into this financial transaction with open eyes.
If this house meets your standards and that of other professionals, feels like home when you pull up to the curb and fits within your budget, congratulations. You’ve found ‘The One.’ Now, go live happily ever after!