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Is your family planning a move?

Is your family planning a move?

By Kathy Schmidt, Broker/Owner, Schmidt Realty Group Inc.

Is your family planning a move?
Here’s some fun homework to help you figure out your priorities!

On any given month, thousands of people are moving to new homes, and this time of year is especially busy as families aim to get settled before the new school year begins.  For parents, the logistics of moving can often be a bit overwhelming. So, before you start hunting for a new home, take some time as a family for fun little exercises. The answers will help you understand critical points about where you should move and the type of home that will bring happiness to the whole family.

1. Track how you live now.

Taking some time to track your regular destinations can be in a month can be really helpful to figure out how you really live… not how you think you live. For instance, do you currently spend 20 minutes each way every day driving to and from an off-leash dog park? Does every weekend find you driving to West Edmonton Mall to enjoy the water park or the skating rink? How often do you drive to the airport? Do you head downtown regularly for events at The Winspear or Churchill Square?  Moving gives you an opportunity to add some space to your schedule as well as more space in your home 😉

2. Identify what you need vs. what you want.

Start a “What we love about our home!” list, and a “What’s missing in our home…” list.  Keep it on the fridge or somewhere everyone can read and add to it.

Once you’ve got these 2 lists, get the family together and go through them to identify which things are WANTS and which are NEEDS in your next home.  You can take it one step further even and rank them in order of importance. For instance, a triple attached garage might be a want, but a double attached garage and RV parking might be the minimum you need.  Similarly, you might really miss having a fireplace if you’ve always had one, but is it a need in the home right away? Maybe for the right house you could add that later.  Keeping your options open and considering what you can add later will ensure you don’t miss out on a property that could have everything else on your list!   Keeping an open mind is key!

Make sure to bring your wants/needs list with you when you meet with your REALTOR®. It will help us understand what type of home we should be looking for and will also allow us to ask follow-up questions. For example, would you be willing to forgo the granite countertops you requested if every other item on your list is checked off? It’s always a fun puzzle seeing how much of our clients wants we can find, while making sure the needs are covered.

3. Consider the future!

Whatever stage of life your family is at, you’ll need to think about how this house will fit your lifestyle in the coming years. Imagine yourself 5 years from now, or if that feels too long, try even 3 years. Do you expect to be travelling more, whether for work or pleasure?  In that case, you might want to consider a condo where lawn care and snow removal are covered for you, or at least you might think about a smaller yard with low-maintenance landscaping.  Do you think your adult kids might be leaving home?  While that may mean you need less space day to day, it may also mean you need to consider having a dedicated guest room for family visits over the holidays.  Perhaps you’ve got a home business that’s starting to take off… will it require more space in the next few years?  Spend some time thinking about your life in 3, 5 and even 10 years.  If you can keep your future needs in mind while house hunting today, you’re much less likely to need to move again soon.

Where you live really affects how you live.  Taking some time with this bit of homework will make your next home work much better for you! 😉

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