Think about it… our homes actually need to grow with us as the years continue. For some of us, it might be the opposite. We might need less of a home as our family size shrinks.
Aging in place, a term defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, is “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.”
How will our lifestyle change in the years to come? Have we considered access to schools, medical and public transportation?
I currently sit on the Tacoma Public Schools Middle School Boundaries Committee and the decisions that are being made will affect family decisions on where they might live in the next few years depending on the children’s ages.
Metro & Pierce County Transit and the expansion of the light-rail might also play into a home location decision.
So… no matter one’s demographic, there are actual some key features to consider for the future; short-term and long-term.
- Where do you picture yourself in five years?
You’ve found the perfect house, but what about the plans to have three kids, to travel Europe, or retire in a few years. Create that big-picture overview of your lifestyle for the next several years when thinking of your dream home.
- Financial Future
Mark Twain once said, “Buy land, they are no longer making it.” Real estate is an incredible investment and as a homebuyer you want to be sure you are comfortable in your financial position. Avoid overextending yourself and be open to compromising on some of the property’s features.
- Multigenerational Housing
Adult children moving back home, with kids… Elderly parents moving into their children’s homes, these are the realities of today and keeping an eye on potential repurposing opportunities might be helpful.
Garage converts to bedrooms, wheelchair ramp access, dining rooms becoming master suites are part of the possibilities to consider. Altering floor plans to pave the way for a growing place.
- Upkeep & Maintenance
One area homebuyers often disregard are the maintenance issues of the roof, siding, systems and landscape. Are you willing to put in the time, energy and money needed to preserve your investment?
Those 10 acres today sound great but down the road how are you going to feel. A little overwhelmed?
- What is your “Walkability” Score?
Are you interested in walking to your local shops, cafes, restaurants? Click HERE for your walkability score. Public transportation, Uber & taxis may allow you live without a car.
- School and Medical Care access
Consider whether or not it is important for you to be near schools or hospitals. What about in the next 5 to 10 years?
- Your active Lifestyle?
Hopefully being a homebuyer hasn’t cut into your ”fun” time. Your hobbies, activities such as biking, golfing, paddle boarding, is there time and space for them?
Are you near family and friends? Can people easily find you and visit. Does your home lend itself to entertaining? Getting together regularly is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle so make sure your new home can accommodate these precious opportunities with your connections.
- The Local Economy
Is your local economy driven by a single major employer or serving companies spurring the growth together? What does the future hold… researching what is happening in the area is pragmatic and in your best interests?
I shall refer back to the Mark Twain quote in item #2. Does your house have the potential to be a rental when you move out? Perhaps to even move back in the distant future.
Purchasing a home is full of exciting and emotional issues. Strategy in the process, having a plan for the future and being well-informed is an excellent way to ensure success in finding your right home.