Do you dream of buying your first home? The perfect, home sweet home?
There was a time, up to the 1980s in North America, where the perfect home was a combination of a safe and stable roof, the smell of a warm, sweet pie coming from the kitchen, and a TV in the living room. Not that families back then were simplistic. But the offering and the inspiration on the market was limited. The perfect home was designed to keep your family safe and provide the comfort that modern families expected: Food and entertainment. While the basic needs have remained, the same, modern society has seen a peak in creativity and inventiveness from interior designers. The perfect home is not synonymous with comfort and shelter anymore. It is also an extension of your personality. The interior decor is a reflection of your family’s values, dreams, expectations, and needs. The perfect home demands a lot of work and patience from modern homeowners.
Some of the questions to ask yourself before buying your first home might be difficult to answer or make you feel uncomfortable, but, doing so will significantly improve the chances that buying your first home is the right decision. Ultimately, the question you need to ask yourself is this one: Where do you find your perfect family home? You’ll be surprised to know that your ideal property isn’t waiting for you, like a brick and mortar soul mate. On the contrary, you don’t find the perfect home; you make it happen!
Question #1: Can you actually afford to buy your first home?
Young adults nowadays find it extremely difficult to access the property market. In fact, for a lot of people, renting remains a safe option, even with a family. There are many reasons for choosing to rent over buying. For instance, for a lot of people, career stability is a luxury that isn’t available at an early professional stage. The risk of having to move for work, and potentially change state, delays the ultimate buy house step. Additionally, it’s difficult to save enough for a home, as you will need to pay a deposit on the property on top of your mortgage. A deposit is generally a 5% down payment of the value of the house. Even for a $250,000 property, you will still need to invest $12,500 of your own money. In other words, the first step to your perfect home is to look into your finances.
Question #2: What key features should you be looking for?
What do you need to make your property the home of your dreams? It’s a difficult question, and while everyone has different stories and expectations, there are specific features that every home should have. For starters, the location needs to be right for your family, both in terms of practicality and safety. This will include the site, and especially whether it is suitable for your family. For instance, you might want to check that the driveway is easily accessible or that the neighbour’s windows don’t look directly into the house. Additionally, the floor plan and the size of each room will play a significant role in your final decision. You will also need to take account of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, especially for families with two or more children.
Question #3: Do you want to improve the property?
Do you know what the most popular renovations in Canada are? In 2017, homeowners have invested in their home. Window and door upgrades are a favourite, as they can save a lot of energy in the long-term. Roofing projects are popular for homes built 20 years ago or before, so, if you’re in the process of buying your first home, check the condition of the roof before making your offer. Flooring, painting and tiling are general improvements that dramatically change the feel in a room. But they are not as expensive as a kitchen renovation, which is usually necessary for old properties. Ultimately, improving is part of creating your perfect home.
Question #4: What is the right decor?
It seems daunting to find the ideal decor for your home. That’s precisely why a lot of homeowners start with a minimalist approach, which leaves room for growth. When every room is filled with hundreds of items you don’t need or want, the home becomes disruptive, oppressing and even stressful for its inhabitants. Decluttering your home to establish a minimalist decor is the best way of taking back control. Start with one room at a time, and focus on the core purpose of the room. Minimalism is the art of elevating the functional elements of your decor. Anything you don’t need you can donate, sell, or throw away. Then you can build up to a decor style that feels like home.
Question #5: Do you want a pet?
35% of Canadian households have a dog, and 38% have a cat. While a pet is not an element of your decor, you can’t ignore how their presence can affect your interior. If you can’t imagine life without your furry friend, you will need to think of how their fur, claws, and excited teeth – anyone who has a young puppy can tell you tales of destruction that would give you nightmares – will transform the room. A carpeted floor looks great, but it’s never a good idea with a pet, for instance. Keep your decor manageable; simplify it!
Question #6: Should you have a seasonal decor?
If you love trends and influencers, you’ve probably noticed that most decor designers have already shared their favourite colour schemes for the spring and summer season 2018. As a homeowner, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for new creative home interior ideas, especially as your decor can begin to show signs of tear and wear within a couple of years. Admittedly, for most households, a brand new change of interior style can mean a substantial investment. So, if you want to make sure your decor lasts a little longer, you can try seasonal touches. For instance, changing the cover of your lounge cushions so that you have a warm winter ambience and a light summer feel can also help to keep your covers for longer. Similarly, duvet covers, rugs, curtains, sofa throws, and seasonal items can keep for many years if you only use them half a year every year!
In conclusion, buying your first home is as much the result of strong financial and organisational skills as it is a creation of your intuition and originality. Because, in the end, the perfect home is a home that works for you!