August 2 2009

Which Type of New Home Should You Buy?

by jim

Single detached home, attached product, one story, two story…most homebuyers already know what type of home they want before they start looking, right? Sure, most of the time. But for buyers with more eclectic personalities, it can be difficult to pin down the exact definition of your living style – making it more frustrating to choose the type of home you want.

Although this tip is normally reserved for first-timer home buyers, knowing what you want is just as important for seasoned homebuyers as well. When mulling over different styles of new homes, some buyers get overwhelmed by the choices available; especially when touring models, which are dolled up with trendy themed décor to make shoppers feel even more “at home.”

To avoid going into a la-la-land state, the best way to fend off buyer confusion is to make two lists: First, a list itemizing your needs; second, an inventory of your wants. What do you and/or your family need? Two, three, or four bedrooms? How many baths? Do you have pets, and how much room do they need? Although these have little to do with the style of a home, it will help you narrow your focus; for example, you are less likely to be seduced into buying a seemingly “perfect” condo or townhouse if you remain aware that its square footage doesn’t suit your family’s needs. After eliminating those types of dwellings from the discussion, you can move on to choosing between one and two story homes, traditional or contemporary estates, and so on.

Obviously, the “wants” list is trickier, as our desires are sometimes known to go over the top. To that end, let’s re-title that list to “wants – within reason.” Some of the most common wants among new homebuyers include fireplaces, swimming pools, and specific types of flooring. New appliances are also near the top of the list for some home shoppers (usually, those who intend to spend extended time in the kitchen). Those are only the usual suspects, though; how about extras like ceiling fans, walk-in closets, or bonus rooms? Many buyers forget how much they want those types of features – until they walk into a home and see them. Putting them on your wants list will help you remember to look for properties that feature those exact amenities.

Even the most open-minded buyers can benefit from doing their research on homes they plan to visit, using a self-written list as their guide. It can make the difference between moving into a house you like – or a home you love.  

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