A question often asked of anybody looking to move into their dream home is this…Is There Such A Thing As A Dream Home?
The answer isn’t straightforward. In theory, the answer is ‘yes,’ but sometimes compromises have to be made. It’s unlikely you will ever find the perfect place to be, as ‘perfect’ is a hard target to reach. It also depends on what your idea of a dream home is. If it’s a pink Fairytale castle, with a moat and a permanent rainbow overhead, then it is very very very unlikely you will find something. Tell us if you do! On the other hand, if you look at things realistically, you will be able to buy a home that closely resembles your ideas, provided you have the budget to match.
Of course, you may already be living in a dream home. You won’t need to move at all if your current home is up to scratch. Yes, there will be issues, but then there always is. You may have noisy neighbours, but a conversation with them may help. There may be minor maintenance issues within your property that can easily be rectified. So, if you were thinking about moving home because of such problems, perhaps your money and time are better spent where you currently are. If your home isn’t your dream property yet, you may be able to turn things around.
However, if your current property isn’t working for you, there are some steps you can take to find that home you have always been dreaming about, albeit one without an ever-changing rainbow as that is just not possible. We think! Consider the following.
Step 1: Take a look at your budget
You probably don’t have the money for a castle, so you may need to curb your expectations. Despite the lack of a moat, however, there are other property types that can match your hopes of a dream home, so consider how much you have to spend. Perhaps a bungalow in the suburbs would suit your budget or a Cluster house close to the city. Do your research, scan the classifieds online, and pop into your real estate agents. When you have seen something you like, it’s time to consider two all-important questions. Is this the house for me? And more importantly, can I afford it? Follow our next steps if you can answer in the positive.
Step 2: Visit prospective properties
So you have seen a property you like, but despite how well-marketed it was in the brochures, you still need to visit it and inspect it thoroughly. You will never get a true overview of the place if you don’t, and there may be issues inside the property you need to know about. Factor in the things you are looking for, and make some of these questions part of your ‘dream home’ checklist. How many bedrooms does it have? Is it close to the amenities you are looking for? Are there easily commutable travel routes to work and school? Does the house contain any features that are important to you? Smart devices or eco-friendly installations, for example. Ask yourself the important questions and check off the things on your list if the property measures up.
Step 3: What compromises are you willing to take?
When considering your dream home, there are things you can’t compromise on, no matter how much the real estate agent tries to push you into making the sale. If you have a family, there are going to be things you just won’t accept, such as a property that simply isn’t the right size. If you need to travel to work by public transport, there will be little point moving into the sticks with no roads or train lines to suit your needs. But then there may be the things you are willing to compromise on. The interior design may not be to your liking, but you can always strip the walls and furnishings and create something with your own inspirational ideas. The property may not have that second bathroom you wanted, but you may be able to extend the property with a home renovation somewhere down the line. You may notice damage to the property, but provided it isn’t life-threatening, you could probably organise for repairs to be made. If you are fussy about what you want and have a strict list of must-haves and must-not, you are probably going to be searching for a property for a long time to come. Sometimes, compromise is the logical choice, when appropriate.
Step 4: Talk to the people around you
If you’re moving with a family or friends, then you need to factor in their needs as well. Your dream home may be their idea of hell, especially if it falls far short of meeting their requirements. As we said above, compromise is key. They will have to shorten their expectations, and so will you. If you don’t take each other’s needs into consideration, the dream home will become a nightmare home as you may have to deal with each other’s misery. So, think about it. If you have children, what do they need? A school nearby, playing areas, and leisure amenities are probably a must. A room to call their own would be useful, with an area to set up toys and games equipment, and a place to hang with friends. The other adults you live with will have their checklist dependant on their workplace and interests, so consider how well the home and its location meets their needs and their ‘dream home’ ideals.
Step 5: Return to your budget
You have browsed properties, do the relevant research, and are in agreement with your nearest and dearest that the property has everything to suit each other’s needs. Okay, so it doesn’t have the rainbow you were looking for, but you will just have to let that one go (or maybe that’s just us). All is set, but you will have to return to your budget. Realistically speaking, factoring in all the expected and hidden expenses, can you afford it? You need to spend time researching your home loan options, such as using a mortgage calculator to help you budget sufficiently. You should also speak to the professionals, such as the people in your bank, to help you think practically. Despite finding the dream home for you, it would be terrible to get into arrears down the line, and it would quickly become a nightmare. So, provided you do have the financial means, and you are sure you can afford the property, then it’s time to put a bid on the house you have considered. Good luck!
Step 6: After the move-in date
You have made it. You are finally living in your dream house, and everybody is happy. Even the cat. Still, you need to protect yourself. To ensure you are happy in the property for as long as possible, do the sensible thing. Get yourself insured, protecting you from any of the natural disasters that could damage your house and your sense of peace. Keep the place well-maintained, and ensure the people living with you adhere to good habits. Find ways to budget, so you aren’t ever in a position where you may have to leave due to financial struggles. And when you have done all of that? The home should closely resemble the dream home you always hoped for, and hopefully, happiness (and metaphorical) rainbows will follow.
So, is there such a thing as a dream home? Possibly, provided you adhere to some of the advice given here. Compromises will have to be made, and practicalities will have to come into play, but you should be able to find something that can make you happy for a long time to come.
** This is a collaborative post please see my disclosure section for full information