When most of us shop for a house, we’re looking for a home. Investment properties and vacation destinations are great, but the most important decision we make about our living space comes when we choose our home. A great house should make a wonderful home for life – barring any big life changes, you should be able to live in the same spot for decades on end and still enjoy a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable space.

That’s why it’s so important to make an informed decision when you choose your home.

Choosing a home: looking at all of your options

Searching for a home can be bewildering. Part of the confusion is caused by the sheer number of choices that you’ll have. If you’re looking for a home in Southeast Ohio, then you already know where your home should be. But even in a small geographic area, there are countless options. Finding the right home in the Cincinnati area will require you to make decisions about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, how much square footage you want, where within the region you’d prefer to live, and what style of architecture you’d like, to name just a few factors.

Fortunately, a good home search website will help you narrow down these choices with effective sortable lists and menus. So start wide and narrow in, eliminating broad categories before you even get to the point of visiting properties in person. You’ll find that it pays to take a wide view of the market before focusing in on a few key options – when you do things that way, you won’t have to worry that you ignored some great other option.

When a fixer-upper is a deal-breaker

Buying a home that needs a few repairs isn’t a crazy thing to do – but you do need to be careful about what kind of flaws you accept in a property.

The best way to make sure that a potential property is ready to be your home for life is to turn to experts to evaluate any problems. Ask HVAC and mold remediation experts about air quality issues or turn to contractors about fixing the porch or adding a bedroom. Getting a sense of what a fixer-upper will cost you is important, but the most important thing is to make sure that the property is really capable of fully recovering and lasting a lifetime. Some issues – like foundation problems – can be death sentences for structures, while others like aging siding can be easily replaced with upgraded seamless vinyl siding options, so make sure that you check for deal breakers before you take on a project home.

Your home and your future

Finally, you’ll want to consider your future when you buy your home. Does your home have enough bedrooms for the children you have, the children you will have, and the teenagers that they’ll become? Do you have room on your property for a home addition, a pool, or anything else you want to add to your space someday? Is your home laid out in such a way that you can move to the ground floor in your old age, or install safe stairlifts and showers? Keeping issues like these in mind can help you choose a house that will truly be a home for life.

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