While that beautiful bungalow made perfect sense back when you bought it, for a growing family, it’s important to find a home that can expand with you. The good news is that this may actually be a great time to move up, as home sales and prices have been sluggish and that larger, more expensive home has dropped even more.
But before you begin your search, map out your family’s future to find the home that will meet your needs today and tomorrow.
“Families come in all shapes and sizes today, with adult children moving home and aging parents needing care,” said Judy Hearst, regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “It’s difficult to have a crystal ball for life, but you should consider what it will be like to live in a home for 10, 20, 30 years or more before you buy.”
Here are just a few ways to keep your eyes on the big prize:
Test wants vs. needs. The terms “need” and “want” are as different as “night” and “day” when it comes to home buying. Be aware of what amenities are necessities and what may be an added bonus. Having a frank understanding of the relationship between your wants and budget also is crucial. Talk to your Realtor for perspective.
Check your timeframe. How long you plan to stay in a home has a major impact on what the property needs to be. Is this the home where you plan for your toddlers to become teens?
Do you expect to have friends and family visiting or possibly living with you one day? All these questions should be answered before you start your search.
Future planning. The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances has consistently found a huge gap between homeowner wealth and that accumulated by renters.
Paying down a mortgage is similar to a long-term savings plan, and recent trends aside, real estate has a positive track record of appreciation. Consider what you want your real estate legacy to be.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, a leading residential real estate brokerage company serving Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana, Southeast Wisconsin and Southwest Michigan, operates 57 offices with more than 3,700 sales associates.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is part of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company. NRT, a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, operates Realogy’s company-owned real estate brokerage offices.
For more information, please visit www.coldwellbankeronline.com.
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