Searching for a new home can be overwhelming if you aren't sure where to start. There are so many listings to see and, unless you can already tell your real estate agent just what you're looking for, you may find it helpful to start narrowing your choices down by composing a list of features that you want your ideal house to have. The market is full of UBC homes to suit all kinds of needs and preferences, so when you're considering what is most important to you in a home, start with these essentials.
Light and Space
Inside and outside, your new home should have enough space to feel welcoming and not constricting. Consider where you spend most of your time at home and prioritize that area. Perhaps you enjoy being outside and need a yard that leaves space between your home and your neighbours. Perhaps you love cooking and would like a kitchen that is open to the eating or living areas and has plenty of windows.
Remember to take windows into account: a little shade is lovely, but you don't want your rooms to be constantly in the dark because of tree cover or insufficient windows. Natural light may help make a room less crowded. If that is a priority for you, try visiting potential new houses more than once on days with different weather.
How much space does your potential new home need to have? Look around for storage space and consider whether you will be able to fit what you have into the new house. Is the square footage divided between storage and living space in about the same proportion as where you live now, or will you find yourself with lovely, spacious rooms and insufficient closets?
Utilities for Your Lifestyle
Does the clothes washer spend all the hot water and make it impossible to do the dishes while it's running? If someone in the house flushes the toilet, does the water pressure drop, or will anyone showering find themselves standing under freezing water? Try turning on several faucets around the house and flushing a toilet to see whether the plumbing and water heater work as well as you'd like them to.
Think about your electricity use. Does the new house have enough electrical outlets in the rooms where you'll want them? What time of day will you be using a lot of power? For example, if you set the heating or air conditioner to come on in the morning, about the same hour as you heat up breakfast, run a hair dryer, listen to the news on the television and boot up a computer, all those devices will put pressure on the home's electricity. This is harder to test, but you can ask a home inspector or let your realtor know your family's power needs.
Location and Traffic
How near would you like to be to shops, parks or schools? Will your morning commute be horrendous, or is the way relatively clear and the drive tolerable? Try driving to your potential new house from your workplace during your normal travel hour, just to make sure there aren't any traffic surprises that could make day-to-day living in an area difficult.
Something for You've Missed
Think about where you live now. What do you find inconvenient around your house? Is the kitchen too small for the time you spend there to be comfortable and creative? Are you sick of street noise, or is there a streetlight or neighbour's lamp that shines straight in your bedroom window? Do you have space for your hobbies, whether that means a comfortable game room or sunny windows for potted plants?
Brainstorm all the little things that have kept your last home from being a dream home and anything you've not been able to do due to the constraints of your space. You may find that these become deal-breaker items in your search for a new space. Once you have your list, let me know. I'll find homes that suit you and keep an eye out for new listings that might be just right for you.