Searching for the perfect home may require more than simply toggling an online search bar to display homes within your budget. And while cost is an important consideration, there are three other important criteria that homebuyers should consider. Here are some insights you can use as you learn how to find the home of your dreams.
- Home type is important. Consider the difference of each space, and how they would work for you now versus in the next 10 years.
- Think about your location priorities: What’s important to one homebuyer can be completely different from the next.
- Home features are important, too! Narrow amenity options down by considering what you have now, and how you’d like to see that change.
Home type: How to decide between a single-family home, condo or townhome
We admit that in today’s market, the majority of homebuyers and sellers tend to focus on single-family homes. But condos and townhomes can also be a great fit for your family in the short-term or for the long haul.
When deciding what type of home is best for you, here are some questions to consider:
Do you want full control over updating the space? If you plan to knock down walls to create an open floor plan, or if you love to landscape, you might consider a single-family home. Condos and townhomes are usually managed by a homeowners’ association, or HOA, that could limit or regulate your interior and exterior modifications.
Is convenience a large factor in your decision? Although a condo or townhome can be regulated by an HOA, that’s not necessarily a negative thing. In addition to regulating the space, an HOA may provide amenities such as a pool, workout facility, security patrols or lawn service.
So, if you’d like to relax after a long day of work (rather than worrying about setting up sprinklers to water the grass), a home such as a condo or townhome run by an HOA might be something to consider. Just keep in mind, the services from the HOA are not free. You’ll usually be required to pay monthly dues to your HOA.
Whether you decide on a single-family home, condo or townhome, remember — research from the National Association of REALTORS® shows that homebuyers are spending an average of 10 years in a home — so think not only of the home you want now, but also of the property that will suit you for the next several years.
Location: How to decide on a city or neighborhood, once and for all
Some people prefer to vacation in a relaxing rural cabin, while others want to be in the heart of Uptown Minneapolis. Similarly, everyone has different preferences of where they’d like to settle in to buy a home.
When deciding on a location, consider these factors:
- School district
- Commute time to work
- Nearby dog park
- Walkability to retail, public transit, restaurants, exercise studios, etc.
Think about what matters most to you, and the type of life you want to live. Rank the list of above criteria in terms of importance, then be sure to follow that list as you consider different areas to live. Remember: While your goal may be to find a home that checks every box off your list, you may have to narrow down must-have items versus nice-to-have amenities.
Looking for Minneapolis or St. Paul community information?
Are you searching in Bryn Mawr, Longfellow, Macalester-Groveland or other communities in St. Paul and Minneapolis? Check out our new community pages for deep insights on what it’s like to live in these urban neighborhoods.
Home features: Certain features are must-haves for buyers
Just as some location criteria are important to certain buyers, home features can be just as important to others. Do you want the ease of walking into a turnkey home that doesn’t need any new appliances or updates? Or are you excited by the potential of purchasing a fixer-upper that could require months (or even years) of renovations?
Be sure to think about the key features that you’d like to see in your home-to-be, including:
- Number of bedrooms or bathrooms
- Status of appliances, possibly with warranties
- Wallpaper or paint
- Flooring: Hardwood, carpet or tile
- Washer and dryer in a dedicated laundry space
Keep in mind that many requirements may stem from things you don’t currently like about your living situation — and that’s okay! There’s no better indication of what you need than knowing what isn’t working for you now.
Carefully consider what you have (or don’t have) now and generate a list of changes and upgrades you’ll need in your new space.
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Key takeaways for finding your dream home
If you’re ready to purchase a house, or if you’d like expert help in deciding which type of home is right for you, contact Edina Realty. We can connect you with a Realtor seven days a week!
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