What Realtors Say About Building a Home Based on Your Life Stage
Realtors make their living by matching individuals and families to specific homes that meet their wants and needs. When a house offers everything buyers want to enhance their lifestyle, that’s when a house truly becomes a home. Knowing that families come in all different shapes and sizes, realtors work to get to the heart of what is important to each home buyer and match them to spaces that fill those needs.
A realtor also knows that the average person buys three to four homes in their lifetime, with each new purchase generally happening around a life event. A newly married couple might buy a starter home, then a larger home after having their children, followed by an even larger home as the children grow up and take up more space, culminating in a final downsized home as empty nesters and/or retirees. Here are some tips on what to look for depending on which stage you find yourself in.
Buying with young kids
If you are looking to buy a home and have a young child or children in the household, three important features are paramount.
Size. Adding humans to your family means you’ll need more space for them and their stuff. Large living rooms, extra bedrooms, and play rooms or game rooms can give parents breathing room from the mess of toys and all the baby gadgets that purport to keep little ones occupied.
Routine. Depending on the number of children home buyers have, other rooms might need to feature more space as well. If the family eats a meal together every night, everyone will need to fit around the dining room table, so the room needs to have space for a dining set and plenty of chairs. More people means more clothes, which means the laundry room needs enough space for a large-capacity washer and dryer. And, once those clothes are clean, they have to be kept somewhere, so big closets and plenty of storage space are a necessity.
Safety. With young children, it’s important to place extra consideration on aspects of the home such as the floor plans, stairways and amenities. Look for open floor plans that allow you to supervise children while you complete household tasks elsewhere. Stairs can be dangerous for toddlers, so make sure these areas have the capability to add safety features. If a home has a yard or a pool, a childproof fence (or the ability to add one) is important. Finally, check the proximity of emergency services, and check the neighborhood’s safety records.
Buying for a growing family
While much advice about families with younger children applies to families with older children, there are a couple more things to consider.
Proximity. With the kids in school, location is even more important when choosing a neighborhood. Not only do parents want their children to go to good schools, but they also want them close to entertainment, friends, and sports–especially since the adults will most often be the ones driving to and fro.
Amenities. Older children might put more emphasis on neighborhood amenities, such as swimming pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, and running and walking trails. Adults with older children might also look for a neighborhood with parks and golf courses.
Buying to downsize
With children no longer a factor in the home selection, home buyers looking to downsize have other matters on their minds.
Size. As a rule of thumb, home buyers transfer one-third to one-half of their current possessions when they move from a larger house to a significantly smaller one. You may choose to look for a smaller kitchen and garage as well as fewer bedrooms and less storage. Use your home builder’s floorplans to prearrange your furniture, so you can only bring what you need to the new home.
Lifestyle. When home buyers plan ahead to downsize, they usually do it by choice. If this describes you, take your time to decide how and where you really want to live, whether it’s by the golf course, near gardens or park trails. And think about how you want to use your space–perhaps you want a personalized theater room. Choice amenities and multiple floorplan options can bring your desired lifestyle to fruition.
Services. Some communities feature outdoor maintenance plans so home buyers can get rid of all their yard tools and focus on what they really love doing.
Realtors in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind., and in Columbus, Ohio, will tell you that Westport neighborhoods are optimal for buyers in all three camps. Not only does Westport Homes offer a variety of neighborhoods, but the floorplans make for even more options to fit a home buyer’s lifestyle. Ask your realtor about Westport Homes, or reach out to us to get started finding the right home for you.