Defining our housing needs to fit our lifestyle before making a buying decision
The house hunt can be overwhelming but defining our housing needs before making the purchase makes the move a lot more satisfying. We can all get caught up in the moment and buy based on the emotion of the minute rather than our own unique needs and wants. Defining our housing needs is about more than a certain number of bedrooms or a particular zip code. It’s about who you are, how you want to live and how to accomplish that goal within your budget.
Here are some questions I think everyone should start asking themselves when they start thinking about buying a home. These questions are personal. Unless you are looking for a home just to impress your peers or parents, these questions should dig deep into your own personal dreams and needs.
Your Lifestyle Interview:
Who will be living in the home you purchase? Will anyone else be spending more than an occasional overnight stay (friends, parents, family)? Many times people will add quite a bit to their monthly mortgage to have a “guest bedroom”. Calculate it out – would you be better off adding a Murphy bed or a hotel bill for that occasional overnighter?
Think about your lifestyle. What do you enjoy doing at home? Do you do a lot of entertaining? How do you spend your time in the evenings and on weekends? Do you enjoy arts and crafts, music, collections, model trains? Do any of these require special rooms/places in the home you purchase?
What do you do at the holidays? Do you entertain family and friends? The buyer of the home pictured here loved loved loved Christmas and it was a big part of her decision making process.
Do you have anything special that needs to be accommodated such as athletic equipment, fine art, a grand piano, large furniture or a large collection?
Does your home need to accommodate any special needs?
Do you have any pets?
When people come to your home, what do you want your home to say about you?
What is your maximum commute time and distance?
Are schools important?
Is there a particular view you are seeking (skyline, lake, river bluffs)?
Do you want a walkable area, a community?
The Notion of the Essence of a Home
Most people want their home to be memorable, satisfying and enduring. Start thinking of the presence of natural light in your rooms. What kind of public areas do you need? Do you need a public area that is completely private? Think about the way you move through the space in the house, the “feel” of one space as you are sitting in another. What is the relationship of the indoors and outdoors of the home? These are thoughts from Sarah Susanka’s book Patterns of a Home.
Sarah Susanka is an excellent resource to put your brain into this mode of thinking. I check out her Facebook page frequently to see the newest trends in home design. Another resource is Christopher Alexander. I carried his book A Pattern Language around with me for over a year. I love reading these 2 people because it is so important to find/make a home – not just a house. Their writings help you put a finger on where you live, what you want it to say and how you want to feel when you are in it.
If you are considering buying a home and would like buyer representation, contact Barbara Heise at 314-448-4768 or barb@AtHomeInStl.com.
Check out the lifestyle of the Downtown Loft District