How to Find Your Dream Home within a New Development
Finding the right online listing source or real estate agent might seem like a difficult task. The MLS exists primarily for resale homes, not as a new homes guide for new developments. The task of finding the right home is not as difficult as you think – although it can be a long ride, you need to be in the driver’s seat!
The best thing you can do to create a new homes guide is to design it yourself. Many new developments spent thousands on marketing so they are top of mind. Some developments offer a larger real estate agent commission so an agent can sway you in a certain direction. Don’t let anybody tell you that you need to compromise! When it comes to new homes, there are many on the market and you are allowed to hold out for your perfect home. The first step creating a new homes guide for yourself is to understand what you want.
No one can help you find the right thing and you might not even know the right thing when you see it if you don’t have a very strong idea of what it is. You have to know what you want and don’t let yourself be swayed. You have desires and needs, hopes and dreams for your new home that are different from your parent’s, friend’s or coworker’s.
So let’s get started on defining the new homes guide for buying your dream home.
The People, Place and Thing of your New Homes Guide
The People: Neighbors and Lifestyle
Neighbors are those people you will see on a regular basis whether you like it or not. Their habits will matter to you once you move in. Understanding who lives in the neighborhood and how they live with make a big difference on your daily life.
The other thing to think about is the type of lifestyle your neighbors have. Is it primarily retired people looking for a quiet street, or families with young kids out riding bikes. If you are looking for the latter, you would be wise to consider school districts, community activities and bus routes.
The Place: City or County?
This a big question – are you an Urbanite or Suburbanite? There is a lot to think about when deciding where you want to live. Most people already have a sense of what they want, but making a shift to the city or into the country can be tough. Let us break it down for you.
Suburbia: Here is the good news. Large developments outside of the city are generally less expensive and often newer neighborhoods that are nearing completion. You might have a say in your finishes and even get a lower price. In these areas, often you can get more home for the money.
With everything good, there comes some bad. Something to think about is that you will often spend more time in traffic if driving to town for work. Also, if you are a city person, there is an adjustment by moving further away from the entertainment options cities offer.
Urban: There are benefits to this, but often this lifestyle caters to a younger person or couple without kids. Living in the city brings you closer to many employers. In addition, you wil be within walking distance to theaters, restaurants, schools. In addition, there is more character in the homes that you will find. Many suburban homes are similar in style and design, but in the urban center, you can get a more historical vibe and more distinctiveness in styles. Keep in mind though, city centers are often noisier with higher crime rates.
Breaking down the location
Busy Streets: Often homes on streets with more traffic can be much cheaper. But remember, if noise doesn’t bother you, keep this in mind. Do a drive-by at different times to assess the traffic levels all day and week. You can reach a lower budget in the right neighborhood by looking at homes on busier streets. Don’t forget though, these types of homes will always sell for less than others in the same area. If you got a deal, whoever you sell to will expect the same deal. Also, if bedrooms are located near the front of the home, that might be more of a deterrent.
Cul de sac: Hands down the safest choice for buyers with children. This is a great option if you are looking for a close neighborhood with a good family feel. Same thing goes for the downside of cul-de-sac living. If you are trying to stay away from a tight neighborhood where people know more about your business, a tight cul-de-sac might not be for you.
Corner lots: Often a larger lot with less neighbors and a wider expanse of views. The lack of construction up against you on two sides, this frees up the property lines to great views and a wider open space. Keep in mind though, you now have traffic on two sides. This will be busier and more pedestrian traffic. Also, with a larger lot and yard comes more yard work. If you are in an area prone to snow, that’s a lot of shoveling.
The Thing: Your Home.
When making your new homes guide, square footage is a good question to ask yourself. This will define the type of home you need. Larger spaces offer more room and cost less per square foot than smaller spaces. Don’t be misled as lay-out is more important than actual square footage. Sometimes well designed smaller spaces appear larger.
Single Family homes often see greater appreciation and might be a better investment if this is meant to be your long time family home. This is a great opportunity for a garden that you will see grow over time. Memories will be made here and with a 30 year mortgage, you will own a home outright in time for retirement. The single family home offers more privacy and can be quieter. On the downside, single family homes are often more expensive than a smaller home type and without homeowner associations and common areas, there is often more maintenance.
Condos and Townhomes
It’s a simple fact that a smaller square footage offers a less expensive home. With that said, often this home type can be expensive because of its location in a high priced real estate area like in the urban core. Generally, this style can be newer so there are fewer repairs and obviously no yard or exterior maintenance. With the convenience of this lifestyle, there is less privacy and it can be noisier. With close neighbors in tight quarters, common walls, floors and ceilings can be noisy. Often with this style of home there is no private yard or a very small yard. In a higher level condo, outdoor living space is at a premium.
Single Stories provide easy wheelchair access and can accommodate those with some medical conditions such as bad knees that can make it hard for certain individuals to climb stairs. For families that are picking up after little kids a single story can be easier to clean. The downside of families all on one floor is that it can be noisier if stereos or televisions are located on the same floor as bedrooms. Some people feel safety is compromised if bedrooms are located at ground level. Another consideration is outdoor living space, more of the lot is absorbed by living quarters.
More than one story provides more living space on same foundation than a ranch home. This is great also for noise is that there is less entertaining on lower level while other family members sleep upstairs. The downside is obviously it takes more trips up and down the stairs to carry stuff to bedrooms – many families look to having laundry rooms are on the second floor. This can be very convenience, but washer leaks are major. Another thing to keep in mind, it is difficult to maintain consistent temperatures on each level without dual heating and cooling units.
This is a good option to compromise between the single story and two+ story home. Also, this can be less expensive if purchased with lower level unfinished. The other upside to this is that there are often higher ceilings in split level homes. Another great benefit is that the downstairs family room separates noise levels from upstairs and there are more square footage on same size lots as ranch homes. This type of home often leaves less storage space and you will find yourself up and down stairs to move from areas of the home.
Number of Bedrooms
The common minimum requested configurations are 3 bedrooms. Newer parents prefer bedrooms located on one level. Two bedrooms often appeal primarily to first-time home buyers, singles or seniors. A good thing to remember though is that you won’t receive a discount if a 2 and den bedroom home is being sold as a 3 bedroom home.
Number of Bathrooms
More than one bath is preferred by most people and one bath homes are often less expensive. Also, people are beginning to expect an ensuite in their homes. One thing to keep in mind though is not to pass up a one bath home is there is room to add a second bath. Sometimes it costs less to put in an extra bath than it does to buy a two-bath home.