How to Know You Have Found the Right House

When it’s time to find a new place, you may start with the highest of hopes, but by day two you’re ready to compromise. Looking at a house to buy or rent can be dizzying. After touring two or three properties, the details of each start to blend together and you wonder which one had that awful wallpaper in the bathroom – was it the same one with the funky glass door knobs that reminded you of your grandmother’s house?

It’s not long before you’re wondering if you’ll know the right one when you walk through the door or if you’ll be stuck in an endless loop of confused wandering through hallways to half-baths and peering through windows at unfamiliar scenery.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions – and biggest expenses – in life for most people. Some people embrace these decisions while others dread them. There’s a way to successfully strike the delicate balance between wants and needs.

Narrowing the field

A Realtor will show you every home in town in hopes of making a sale. While it can be helpful to see a variety of potential places, it can also muddy the decision. Consider how much time you have to make a decision – if you’re looking for a larger home to accommodate your growing family you may have more time than if you’re being transferred on short notice.

Be realistic. A real estate agent can only show the homes that are available at the time you are looking, and you provide that person with the guidelines they work within. Separate your “wants” from your “needs” to narrow the options. Each member of the household should make a list of things that are important to them. Discuss the items and combine the lists, prioritizing major things that eliminate entire categories of homes, such as single-story buildings, the number of bathrooms, those without a garage, or zeroing in on a particular neighborhood.

That gut feeling

The right house – that meets most or all of your basic criteria -- should actually speak to you. When you walk through the rooms you should get a feeling that you’re being welcomed home. The size and configuration of the rooms should feel right. You may start to envision yourself and your family enjoying the space immediately, including where your furniture will go and how traffic will flow through the kitchen and other rooms.

There are limits to what can be changed and you have to decide if the best assets of the house will outweigh the parts you don’t like. Consider if you can put up with years of ducking a little when you go up the stairs, because a major structural issue like that is the hardest to correct while disliking the color of the bedroom is a minor issue that can be changed in a matter of hours.

Decision-making tips

This is a design style that has been trending for several years, and, this year, there are more options than ever. Choose to go with an all-silver or all-gold look, or expand your options by mixing your metals. You can also mix it up further by incorporating both shiny and burnished finishes.  

If you’re looking for a good accent color that plays nicely with metallic finishes, think about this pairing. “Step aside silver—gold has a new Christmas companion,” said Hayneedle. “Dark neutrals have been trending all year long, so we’re not surprised to see an increased interest in black this season. Black and gold holiday decor is perfect for non-traditional themes and creates a sophisticated look that’s super festive when paired with glittering metallics. Try a black and gold Christmas wreath on your front door for a look that will welcome your guests well into the new year.”

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Americans move on average every six years, but the right house can make great memories in that six years.