How to Choose a Single-Family Home
When you’re looking for a new home, there are many factors to consider. The process can be a bit overwhelming, but when you do your research and plan properly, it can be much less daunting. If the house you’re buying is going to be your forever home, it’s also important to consider your long-term happiness and satisfaction with your living arrangements. Our experienced professionals at Segal & Morel in Pennsylvania and New Jersey offer some tips on choosing a single-family home that’s right for you.
Know What You Can Afford
Before choosing a home, it’s crucial to know your budget. Once you take a look at your finances and determine what you can afford, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will pare down your options and help you avoid wasting time looking at new homes that aren’t in your price range. A pre-approval letter also shows builders, real estate agents, and sellers that you’re serious about buying a house.
The size of your new home will depend on your unique needs and preferences. If you have a family or plan to start one soon, it’s important to look at how many bedrooms you’ll need, play areas, and other kid-friendly features. If you’re an empty-nester or couple wanting to downsize, a smaller single-family-sized home may be your best bet. It can be helpful to look at homes of various sizes and different types of floor plans to get an idea of what size and style will work best for you.
The location of your bedrooms and how many you need also depend on your individual circumstances. For example, older folks may want to put a bedroom suite on the first floor, while people with small children may want their bedroom to be upstairs so they’re closer to their kids. Other factors to consider when looking at bedrooms in a house are sources of natural light, views, privacy, and closet space.
If you’re considering new construction for a single-family home, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do with the bathrooms. Do you want full baths on the first and second floors? One in a finished basement? Luxury tubs and showers? Bathroom renovations can be costly, so if you’re looking at older homes, make sure they are in good working order and you’re happy with the style. Otherwise, you’ll most likely be making improvements in the future.
If you love to cook or have a large family, you may prefer a spacious kitchen with lots of room for storage and food prep. The kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house, and guests often end up congregating there, so if you entertain frequently, a large kitchen with countertop seating may be right for you. If you’d prefer a smaller kitchen, you may want to choose a home with a formal dining room. As always, it’s all about your personal preferences and specific needs. Regardless of whether you’re buying a new or previously built home, make sure appliances such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, and washer and dryer are Energy Star® certified.
While older stately homes may be attractive, aged windows and HVAC systems can decrease energy efficiency and lead to exorbitant utility bills. If you’re buying a brand new home, going green is easier than you think. For example, Energy Star® and green-certified homes offer features such as:
- Renewable building materials
- High-R value insulation
- Tankless water heater systems
- High-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems
- Rainwater collection systems
- Low flush toilets and water-saving faucets
- High-performance windows
Going green can save you money, provide a comfortable home, and treat the environment with care. If you are interested in buying a green home, it’s crucial to find a builder whose homes are Energy Star® certified and Green Certified by the NAHB Research Center.
When choosing a home, it’s important to consider its outdoor spaces, too. What do you like to do outside? Do you have children or pets who spend a lot of time outdoors? If you enjoy gardening and other outdoor activities, it’s important to consider sun exposure, too. And who doesn’t love a beautiful view? If you entertain a lot, you also may want to consider building a deck or patio.
Location, Location, Location
You may know the general area where you want to live, but it’s important to be aware of the specific things a neighborhood has to offer. Planned communities with single-family homes offer recreational amenities used by people of all ages, which adds diversity and character you may not find in a high-rise condo or rural standalone home.
Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, some things you’ll want to consider before choosing a new home include school districts, crime statistics, commute times, proximity to entertainment, cultural and sporting events, and other recreational activities.
Choose a Home That Fits Your Needs and Personality
These are just a few things to consider when choosing a single-family home. Other features such as architectural style, floor plans, garage size, and noise levels also should be on your radar so that when you find a place to call home, you’ll truly love it.
Contact Us to Learn More About Our Single-Family Homes
Are you interested in finding the new home of your dreams? Since the 1960s, Segal & Morel has been building extraordinary homes with quality materials and top-notch craftsmanship in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our Energy Star® certified homes offer the utmost comfort and cost savings while lessening your impact on the environment. Contact us online or call our office in Easton, PA, at 610-923-8422 to learn more.