Buying a Home That Fits Your Lifestyle
There are countless details to consider when buying a house: size, style, acreage, price, age, structure, etc. It can be overwhelming, but overall, one of THE most important things to think about is how the house will accommodate your family’s specific lifestyle. You deserve a home that will conveniently fit your routines, hobbies, and expectations. Whether that’s a ranch in the country or a small city townhouse, it’s up to you to decide if the home will support your lifestyle.
1. Consider How Your Daily Routine Will Work
When you first tour a house that’s for sale, what are you thinking about? Are you dreaming of the house parties you could throw and the furniture that would fit perfectly, even if you can’t afford it? Try flipping your mindset to a more realistic setting. The majority of the time you’re in that house, you’ll be going about life normally: getting up for work, taking care of kids or pets, cooking, cleaning, and just living.
Therefore, the visions you have when preparing to buy a new home should really be about how your average routine will function inside this particular house.
Is the house close to the businesses, doctors, offices, and schools you’ll frequently be visiting? Research has shown that people with short-distance commutes are more relaxed, calm, and satisfied than those who travel long distances. A house can be perfect in many ways, but if it’s not conveniently located, it might not fit well into your current lifestyle. Do you hate getting up at the crack of dawn to take your lovable pup outside? Make sure your dream house has a fence and perhaps a doggy door - this will make an impact on your everyday life and enjoyment.
What about the kids? What do they do on an average day, and how will their activities and necessities be met in the house you’re considering? Will they be closed to the things that they do every day, like parks, schools, and friends’ houses? A house can be beautiful, spacious, and a good price, but if it doesn’t have features that will contribute to the ease of your everyday life, it might not be a good overall fit for your family.
2. Think About Incorporating Your Hobbies
Speaking of daily activities, it never hurts to think about how your most important hobbies will fit into a new house. Many hobbies take up space, so before you make any commitments, think about where your workshop, exercise room, or arts and crafts area could fit. If you’re into woodworking, you’ll need a safe area with great ventilation and lockable doors if you plan on using sharp tools for your projects. Consult a woodworking guide to get all the details on the tools, process and safety practices you need to know before starting with woodworking.
Similarly, if you like to paint, work on cars, or create a real mess, where will your hobby fit into this new house? These aren’t hobbies you can do just anywhere. Maybe you’ll decide you need a separate room or shed for your hobby, or perhaps you want to convert half of the garage into a workshop. Regardless, these are things you need to think about while home shopping - not after you’ve already made the move.
Hobbies should be just as much of a priority as the number of bathrooms or the color of the carpet. Hobbies exercise a part of our brain we don’t typically use and improve our cognitive functions - don’t brush them off when thinking about how a house fits your lifestyle.
3. Remember: Your Happiness Doesn’t Come from a Home
The American Dream would often have us believe that a good job, a content family, and a house with a white picket fence are the necessary ingredients for a happy life - but that’s not always true. Owning a McMansion you can’t really afford or living in a cramped space to be in a “cool” city isn’t always the right path to a happy lifestyle. Research indicates the biggest source of happiness comes from:
• A sense of community and frequent community celebrations
• Close friends and family, especially for children
• Access and commitment to frequent exercise
• Less emphasis on consumerism (a big happiness suppressant)
• The chance to actively help people for about 100 hours a year
Notice that none of those ingredients have anything to do with the size of the house. However, many of them do influence where you live and how you can access support groups, community, activity, and charity. Want to know what actually detracts from your happiness?
• Paying too much for your living accommodations
• Isolation from friends and family
• Feeling out of control when it comes to your lifestyle
• Making choices to impress others, not yourself
As you shop for your “dream” house, think about aesthetics and design. Consider what you feel about the actual building. Then, before you pull any triggers, ask yourself:
• Will this house bring me happiness?
• Does it pair well with the real ingredients that will make me and my family feel satisfied?
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