Despair! That is the emotion you may be feeling if you are looking for the perfect home for your family. In fact, it can be very challenging to find a property that you would be happy to settle down with your family permanently.
This is something we went through ourselves about 2-3 years ago when deciding on the next steps for our own property needs with our family getting ready to expand. For us it was a case of weighing up whether to build our own home or buy a turnkey house with everything done for us. In the end we opted to do a self-build, and along the way we learned a couple of important things as part of the decision-making process.
Below we share our top four tips for finding the perfect family home.
1. Needs vs Wants
First of all, when it comes to finding your perfect family home, you must be able to differentiate between needs and wants. We all want our home to have everything, but depending on your budget and your current circumstances, you need to establish what you absolutely need in your home versus what you want but maybe don’t need right away.
Of course, needs and wants will be different from family to family. So, take time and sit down to make a list of what you need in your house and what you would like to have in your house. Think of it as a list of must haves and a list of nice to haves. If you find a property or can build a home that covers both lists, happy days! If not, ensure the property meets every requirement on your must have list.
2. The Importance of Location
Everyone knows that when it comes to property location is crucial. Of course, where your property is located it even more vital if you intend to reside there for a long time. To that end, when factoring in location when choosing your family home, think carefully, and do your research before you decide.
In fact, even thinking ahead to what may happen in the area can help you here. The reason being that the location around, you won’t necessarily be guaranteed to stay the way that is now forever. Research things like nearby schools, employment opportunities, sports and social clubs, crime rate, restaurants and general activities and things to do in the area. Make sure you’re happy that you move to an area that you will be happy to spend many years in.
For us, location was a huge factor in opting for a self-build instead of going out to buy a property. We are located along a coastal road with views of both the sea and the mountains. A short-drive from the picturesque Newcastle in Co. Down, we have schools, shops, pubs, restaurants and many things to see and do on our doorstep.
Weighing all of this up and thinking of our circumstances, it was soon clear a self-build was our best option as we were very fortunate to own some land in the area.
Everyone’s situation is unique. As well as considering what is going to be in the area you are moving to, it is important to consider the travel if you are moving to a property that is far away from your current location.
This includes the time and cost of house movers to relocate all of your belongings, as well as the travel to get to your office and visit your family and friends on the weekend.
3. Build Your Own
Once you have decided on your needs vs. wants you can start to look for property that meets as many points in your list as possible. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will find one that fits the bill.
Fortunately, there are other options if this is the case of your family. In fact, one such option is to build your own property, and as we’ve already outlined, this is the route that we went down.
In fact, by employing professional home builders to do the construction, you can maximise your chances of getting as much from the needs and wants list as possible. You can also build a home that is unique and meets your exacting requirements. In our process we created our needs and wants list and sat down with the architect to see what was feasible.
While we had to lose some features from our ‘nice to have’ list, we got everything we desired on our ‘must have’ list and having been in the house now for one year, we can certainly recommend opting for a self-build to achieve your forever home.
4. Conversions, Renovations, and Extensions.
Of course, there is another option to consider, as well. That is buying a property that matches as many needs as possible and then doing a DIY renovation, extension, or conversion to get it to meet your wants as well.
In fact, in some cases, this option may be a more practical one than a self-build. Especially if you are looking for an older property with character! This option can also work well if your family needs somewhere to live while the work is being done too.
Got Something to Add?
For more tips and advice on finding the perfect family home check out our recent article ‘5 tips to buying your first home’.
Comment below to share any tips you have for finding the perfect family home.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.