Choosing the Right Home for You and Your Family
Does the thought of buying a home give you a surge of adrenaline? Perhaps you’re just starting out or are looking for something that will retain its value in the future. The first priority should be to find a home that meets all your needs. Is it the perfect house you’re looking for, or are you looking for neighborhood amenities? Our home builders in Calgary have helped give rise to entire neighborhoods and communities, and it’s up to you to find the perfect home.
House vs. Neighborhood
One of the many compromises home buyers face is to pick a house that is perfect or a neighborhood with desirable amenities. As for homes, top considerations include the number of bedrooms, granite kitchen counters, and fences for the yard. Other factors include:
- The need for renovation: A move-in-ready home may have renovation potential. Renovations involve time and expenses, so it’s important to decide if they’re worth it. If so, doing one room at a time is best so the rest of your home will be functional. Kitchen renovations are particularly challenging because most homes don’t have a spare kitchen to use during remodeling.
Even small renovations add up. Examine the doors and locks of bedroom/bathroom doors, or how the fireplace is used. Before making an offer, ask the owner to see at least a year’s worth of utility bills (proof of energy efficiency or a lack thereof) and have an inspector run through a checklist to fully assess the structure’s condition.
- Size: Always anticipate your future needs. While a two-bedroom home may do for now, it might not be big enough if your family grows or you need a home office. Also, measure your furniture to make sure it will fit where you envision it to be. Count the kitchen cabinets to ensure all your kitchenware will be accommodated. The size of the garage should be considered as well.
- Storage: Storage space is one of the most important assets for a homeowner. Measure the closet space, garage space, and room to store belongings in the basement, attic, or shed. It’s best to first measure the closets you have, and then compare that with what’s available in the new house. Look for built-in shelving, or room for additional shelves in open areas, and ceiling heights that accommodate vertical storage of, for example, vases and collectibles.
- The details: Look beyond luxury selling points a realtor who shows homes in Cochrane might push. Granite countertops are nice but look more closely to ensure they’re not compensating for worn cabinets and appliances. Does the kitchen accommodate everyone? Is there a window overlooking the backyard, so you can check on the kids while they’re playing?
Remember, you don’t need all the bells and whistles. The bathroom is a perfect example. When shopping around, look for what you need; double sinks can be beneficial, but a luxurious toilet, jacuzzi, or rainforest showerhead is generally not necessary. Also, understand the décor might look nice now, but the owners will take their antiques and valuables along with them, so try to envision your mementos and eclectic paintings, decorations, and furniture in their place.
If it is the neighborhood, such as Bayview or the Redstone community, what about the area entices you? Here are some aspects to look at:
- Proximity: Do you prefer solitude or being close to your neighbors? Some buyers love being out of sight of anyone else, while others long to have neighbors just behind the fence and see them during a morning walk. Many prefer a shorter drive to work and amenities such as schools, grocery stores, and gas stations.
- Surroundings: What is going on in the area? Are homes in the neighborhood being renovated? That can mean people are invested in improvements and property values may be on the rise. If children are playing and you see bikes and swing sets, your kids might find friends in their new location. Do you see lots of for-sale signs or junk sitting in yards or behind fences? Then the area may be on the decline.
- People: Check to see you’ll have something in common with neighbors. Do they gather at a local church on Sunday, or do you hear house parties at night? Hang out in the area before deciding, watching for things like traffic, dogs, and if people gather outside at all. It can be a surprise to find out, after you close a sale, that you really don’t fit in with the neighbors.
- Economy: The timing of your move is important. If the economy of the area is declining or poor to begin with, you may not find schools or basic services that meet your expectations. In some cities, citizens are likely to be employed regardless of the economic cycle. College towns, state government centers, and cities in smaller metropolitan areas are great examples.
If you’re looking at houses for sale in Calgary SW or any area, do your due diligence learning about the area before making a buying decision.
We hear the word compromise in all facets of life. It’s no different in the world of real estate; choosing a house is always a challenge. You might have found that home with a yard perfect for the children, but it’s a farther commute to work. Another common factor is you’ve found the perfect neighborhood, but the homes are a little over your budget.
One solution is to settle for a slightly smaller home. Perhaps you don’t need an extra bedroom or pool. There may be alternative options in the same community. You could even lower your expectations and find deals on homes in need of cosmetic repairs. However, always have the house inspected for an assessment of the structure. If you must add bathrooms or move walls, these renovations tend to be quite costly.
Then, again, you may just need a paint job or some new appliances. The cost of such updates is generally lower than more substantial renovations.
Examine your financial options as well. There may be opportunities to increase your budget, so it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with your financial planner or lender. It may seem like you’re going way over budget, but, if it adds just a few dollars to your monthly payments, the decision may be worth it in the long run.
Is It the Right Home?
We’ve gone through a few of the basics to help you choose a new home. The internet is filled with tips and checklists, but how do you know for sure it’s the house for you? Most home searches start with affordability and basic amenities in mind, but, if you’re looking to live in southwest Calgary, Airdrie, or the Redstone community, one way is to trust your intuition. You may have a great impression within a few seconds or perhaps you won’t sense it until later.
Try foreseeing how you’ll live in the house. A beautiful view is enticing, but will you often be home to see it? Prioritize interior features such as how the kitchen is configured. It should accommodate high traffic if you have a large family or be spacious if you have a toddler. Home builders in Calgary have gone through all the essentials in planning ideal living spaces for families.
In the real estate market, procrastination is your worst enemy. You may suddenly decide it’s the right type of house, and then find out a buyer submitted an irresistible offer just moments before. Buying a house isn’t a decision you want to rush, but here are a few telltale signs you may have found the right one:
- You are drawn inside: This is where curb appeal takes center stage. Does the house stand out over one across the street or does something about it strike you? The front door is beckoning, so it’s time to take a closer look.
- You’re instantly hooked: Do you feel warm and comfortable within three seconds of walking inside? Are you driven to explore the house? If it feels right, then it most likely is.
- The flaws don’t matter: Perhaps there’s chipped paint or a stain in the sink. Instead of feeling critical about flaws an agent points out, you feel the urge to defend them. The feeling of possession takes over.
- You’re comfortable in the bathroom: If you have no resistance to walking in and touching the vanity, opening the shower door, etc., rather than avoiding the room or just poking your head in, it’s a good sign.
- You envision where furniture will go: If you instantly picture where beds, couches, and even Christmas trees will go, it should be your house. The same goes if you imagine the walls painted in your favorite color.
- You’re ready to stop looking: The thought of visiting other homes no longer drives you, or the ones you’ve already seen are no longer interesting. You might feel so attached it seems you’ll somehow betray this home if you keep checking out others!
- Your thoughts are blazing: You won’t be able to stop thinking about it. The house is perfect, has everything you need, and occupies every facet of your life. You just want to brag to all your friends about it. It’s time to make a move—now.
Conduct Your Search with Genesis Builders Group
Specializing in land development and home building, we have built thriving communities across Calgary and Airdrie. Our new condo builders in Calgary employ a proven home-building process that has yielded homes meeting the needs of various buyers. Are you looking to live in Sage Meadows, Ashbury, or the Redstone community? Call us at 403-265-8079 or fill out our contact form to discuss your needs and available properties that may be just right for you and your family.