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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Evans

10 Factors to Consider When Searching for your Waterloo Region Dream Home

Buying a "Dream Home" is one of those life goals that almost everyone has on their to-do list.

However, unlike any other real estate acquisition, looking for your Waterloo Region dream home has its own set of issues. You'll want to look for a property that will keep you and your family happy for the long haul, as you'll most likely be staying in it for the foreseeable future.

How can you determine if you've found your ideal place? Most people think you'll just know, but until then, follow these guidelines to ensure you're looking in the right places.

1. The features you’ve always wanted:

Congratulations on your search for the home of your dreams! You've earned it. It's critical to approach this buy with a fresh perspective. You may have looked for a home that fit your requirements in the past, such as having enough bedrooms for the entire family or a short commute to work.

This is a unique situation. A dream home is about more than just meeting needs; it's about fulfilling wishes. Don't be scared to make a long list of things you want. Each person's wish list is unique. While you may enjoy the convenience of having a community exercise center nearby, your partner may prefer the privacy of a single home.

Make a list of the features that each member of your family desires. Then, in order of significance, rank each of those features. While it's unlikely that you'll find a house that ticks all the boxes on this list, this exercise will help you narrow down your search to properties that suit all of your needs.

2. The neighbourhood and surrounding area:

Keep in mind that your home does not exist in a bubble. It's a component of a bigger community in which you'll spend your days. With this in mind, it's vital that you select a neighbourhood that suits your needs before making a purchase. Do you want to be able to stroll to a coffee shop every morning or avoid having to deal with potentially noisy neighbors? Whatever it is that you desire, don't be hesitant to do your homework before beginning your hunt.

If feasible, go for a drive and spend some time there. Take a walk in a nearby park and eat at a neighborhood restaurant. Notify your real estate agent once you've found locations you like. He or she will utilise this knowledge to zero in on just the right properties to show you within these locations, or others that offer lots of the same things.

3. Lot location and size:

When it comes to buying a home, the lot is sometimes an afterthought, but it should be at the top of homebuyers' concerns. It is the one aspect of a property that cannot be changed. Consider this: You could demolish a house and rebuild it from the ground up, yet the lot will remain the same regardless of the alterations you make.

Before putting an offer on a certain property, think about the location and size of the lot. Do you wish you had a backyard large enough for your children to play in? Is there a view from the property that you can imagine yourself enjoying for many years?

If very much about the land a home sits on appears to be a compromise, don't be afraid to walk away. It will be easier to find a similar property on a better lot rather than settling for a less-than-ideal location on a daily basis.

4. The age of a property:

When it comes to purchasing a home, especially the home you've dreamed about your entire life, age does matter. Buying an older home or a brand new one both have advantages and disadvantages, so know what you're getting into before making an offer. Do you drool over the incomparable allure of older houses? If that's the case, narrow your search to historical gems in the rough. Older homes, on the other hand, demand a little more TLC than their newer counterparts.

Is your perfect home, on the other hand, as simple as turning the key in the front door? Do you fantasize of having a closet large enough to house your substantial wardrobe and a spa-like master bath? Newer construction may be a better fit in this scenario.

5. Your ideal home style:

You want to make sure your home is one that you'll be glad to pull up to each day, whether it's a way of life or the actual aesthetic of your property. Because the appearance of a home is one of the first things you (and others) notice about it, finding a style that suits your personality is crucial.

Single-family homes are ideal for those who desire the freedom to personalize a home to their exact specifications. Condo living is for those who want to own a home but also have access to hotel-style amenities. Town home living is a good mix between the two, but each community has its own set of rules, so make sure you know what they are.

6. The right amount of space:

When it comes to choosing your perfect home, the key is determining how much space you actually require. Purchasing a home that is too small for your family will need you to constantly rearrange the space to make it work. Similarly, purchasing an overly large property will allow you to spread out, but will usually come with a heftier price tag.

Consider the place in which you now live. How does it make you feel? Do you have enough bedrooms or do you have to share with other family members? Is there enough space to store all you own?

You should think about your current living situation as well as your future plans. Plan for a little more space if you think you'll be adding to your family anytime soon. You'll want to find a happy balance that allows you to expand without going overboard.

7. A layout you love:

Not all square footage is created equal, which is where the floor plan comes into play. If you compare two properties that are 2,000 square feet, one could dedicate most of the space to the living area while the other could focus on more spacious bedrooms.

While it is possible to redesign your floor plan after moving into the home, it’s a long process that requires a huge commitment of time and finances. Unless you are particularly handy, it’s a project that will require hiring a team of contractors.

Be sure to focus on finding a layout that is as close to perfect for you as possible. Picture yourself using the space as you walk through the property. Think about things you’d like to do over the years you spend in your dream home. If you take pride to host the family holiday party every year, consider an open-concept plan that will you’re your guests plenty of room to roam. However, if each of your family members relishes in having their own private space, a more traditional layout might be a better option.

8. The potential for future projects:

Even your dream home is going to require a little bit of customization – as it should. Whether you’ve spent years wishing for a chef-style kitchen, poolside backyard oasis, or a tricked-out media room, it’s unlikely that those features will be exactly to your specifications from the moment you close on the home.

Keep an eye on how much personalization is required in each property you view. Even if it happens slowly over time, be honest with yourself about how much of that work you'll be able to handle. If you're comfortable with power tools, make sure you're willing to put in the time. If you choose to hire a professional, be prepared to set aside a significant sum of money. Consider both large and small renovations, such as painting the dining room or fully remodeling your master bathroom.

9. Costs that make you comfortable:

This isn't the most enjoyable aspect to consider, especially in comparison to upgrades and aesthetics. However, if cost isn't taken into account, your dream home may end up being more of a source of stress than a source of relaxation.

Try not to push yourself to the limit of your financial resources. Keep in mind that there are additional expenditures to consider in addition to the monthly mortgage payment. When buying a home, keep in mind local taxes, monthly utility expenditures, and association fees.

A word of caution: keep in mind that these prices will remain stable over time. If your circumstances change, such as retirement or an impending layoff, you'll still need to account for them. Allow some wiggle room in your budget, so you can enjoy your ideal house for many years to come.

10. Compromises you can handle:

It's just as vital to be aware of what you'd like to find in your dream home as it is to be conscious of whatever aspects of homeownership would make you unhappy. That way, you can steer your home search away from those elements, ensuring that your ideal living experience is not ruined by a flaw you can't change.

If you can't stand living next to your neighbors, look for a smaller home with more yard space or widen your search area to a less-populated location. If you can't bear the idea of spending your weekends performing major pool upkeep, avoid buying a home with one, even if the rest of the house appeals to you. Every property comes with some form of compromise, but when it comes to your dream home, such compromises should be limited.

The bottom line

Everyone deserves to find their dream Waterloo Region home. With the right amount of research, - and the right real estate agent, it is more than possible. Use these important factors as points of consideration as you and your family begin the home buying process. They’ll help you focus in on the qualities that a property must have in order to be your perfect fit.

Getting ready to sell your Waterloo Region home, or buy a new one? Let Team Pinto use our huge experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here.

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