Often clients on the hunt for their dream home will say to me “the property must be in this particular neighbourhood, have a double garage with an ensuite off the master bedroom"... and so on and so on. However, once we start viewing properties, often the non-negotiable features soon become up for negotiation or vice versa. Suddenly the lack of an ensuite can be compromised for a stunning view of the mountains or a garage happily substituted for a carport and shed if the property is on a preferable street.
Defining your dream home can be tough; having to consider what features are essential, important, neutral and not so important. You’ll need to turn your mind to the important ‘why’: why are you buying a home – is it an investment, to raise a family or retire in. What do you love (or not love) about the home you are living in now or are there characteristics of a previous home that you really enjoyed. Are their aspects of your friends’ homes that you admire? What’s important to you – soaking in a bath at the end of a day on the mountain? Having a garage for all the toys? A big backyard for a veggie-garden and kids to play? Or is the functionality and social space of the kitchen of utmost importance to you?
There are many features to consider…
Kitchen: Big or small, eat-in or with separate dining room, gas or electric?
Bedrooms: How many do you need? How many do you want? What would you want to do with an extra one (office, tv-room etc.)?
Bathrooms: Again, how many do you need or want? Do you want spa-style luxury, no-frills functionality or something in between?
Family / living / game rooms: How do you want to spend your time at home? What kind of space do you need? How much elbow room does your family need for relaxing, watching TV, playing games and hanging out? Do you want that space to be formal or casual?
Attics / basements / closets: Attics and basements add a huge amount of storage space for items you don't need on a regular basis (camping equipment, out-of-season clothes, bulky tools). Closets handle the items you need every day. How much space do you need?
Garage: Do you want an enclosed garage, or is a carport fine for your lifestyle? Should the garage be attached or separate from the house? How big a garage or carport do you need? Does it need to store bicycles, skis, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles or a boat? Do you need space for a workshop?
Stairs: Do you want your home to be all on one level, or split between two floors?Features: Are you dead set on having hardwood floors, bay windows or other special features?
Architectural style: What style are you going for? Do you prefer a European-style residence or a mountain cabin, or something in between?
Land: Do you want a yard? What about trees or landscaping? Do love being in the garden, or maintaining a big yard or is that last activity you want to be doing in your spare time?
Outdoor living: Do you need a patio or deck? Play area for kids/grandkids? What about a covered porch/BBQ area? A fire pit for those snowy winter evenings?
Traffic: Do you want to be at the end of a sleepy cul-de-sac, in town close to shops, bars and the action, in a gated community, or is rural-living up your alley?
As a builder and a REALTOR®, consideration of these features comes naturally to me but I encourage my clients to take time to think about these things, browse through magazines and online for ideas and even put pen to paper. Use the information below to remember what's important to you and narrow down your search to make your dream home come to fruition.
If you would like a copy of this Worksheet, please send me a message and I will forward one through to you!