Envision The Lifestyle You Want

In Buyers by Doug Phelps

We all like to do a little daydreaming from time to time. It’s nice to just disappear in your head and visualize something exciting that has the potential of happening in the near future. 

Whether this is your first home or your tenth home, your wish list varies over time. The big backyard you wanted with your first home may have turned into a small deck by your fourth house as you have grown tired of yard work over the years. On the flip side, maybe a “man cave” is the crème de la crème as you envision Sunday football parties with friends and family.

The first step in finding your next home is to sit down and really visualize what you want, consider how your needs and desires have changed over the years. Then, write it all out. The following areas can help get the juices flowing.

Neighborhood / Location

  • Commuting considerations (to work, school, shopping, recreation, etc.)?
  • Proximity to desirable features (community center, gym, hospital, light rail, highways, etc.)?
  • Views – how important is it to find your ideal view or avoiding a bad one?

Life At Home

  • Are you sharing your home with children, pets, live-in parents, or other adults?  How does this impact your housing preferences?  Both now and in the future?
    (For example, pets may require a fenced-in yard; older parents may dictate one-floor living.)
  • Hobbies or leisure activities to consider?
  • Proximity to neighbors?


  • How much do you want to invest in a home beyond the purchase price, either in terms of renovation needs and “sweat equity” if you can’t find exactly what you want?
  • Do you consider other neighborhoods that might provide better affordability?

Home Style Preferences

  • Single-family detached or multi-family attached?
  • 1-story … 2-story … multi-level … etc.?
  • Basement?
  • Age of construction?
  • Remodeled or renovated?
  • How important is energy efficiency or other “green home” features?

Lot Characteristics

  • Size and shape, including back, front, and side yards?
  • Landscaping considerations – the need for open play areas, privacy, patio space, decking, garden, extra parking, etc.?
  • Home orientation – is it important for you home to face in a particular direction?

Related Costs

  • Homeowner Association Fees
  • Property Taxes
  • Special Taxing Districts


  • How long do you plan to live in this home? 
    How does this impact the type of home, how much you’ll spend, and location?

Final Thoughts

As you complete your wish list, revisit it from time to time. Communicate in detail with your agent. If you are having issues prioritizing your list, an agent can help you make logical sense of it. Your agent can also help you add or subtract from your list, depending on what makes sense to the needs and wants of your situation. While real estate is a business transaction, at the end of the day you must be able to be comfortable calling your house your home.