July 22, 2014

Four Factors I considered when choosing a home, Part 4

An article titled “The Cheapest Generation” stirred up a conversation about what led some of our young professionals to choose their current or future homes. We’re pleased to present this series, Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home, to shed light on what homebuyers may be looking for. Feel free to share your own factors or thoughts in the blog comments section!

Name: Jeb Hoge
Hometown: Tullahoma, TN
Current: Midlothian, VA
Education: Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
Job Title: Technical Writer


Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home

Unlike the youngsters in this series (I kid, I kid), my wife and I approached our most recent homebuying experience coming from a perspective of “nuclear family” parents looking for a long-term home in which to raise our family. We’d done apartment living in a couple of cities and we’d had our starter townhouse in a bustling metropolitan area where most things were in walking distance and dinner out several times a week wasn’t uncommon. We never really tired of that, but factors both within and outside of our control teamed up to change our focus and priorities. We determined that we not only needed to go house shopping, we needed to relocate completely to find the things that we wanted in a home where we’d spend the next few decades. In no particular order, here are the four main factors that informed our choice of home.

Schools: A solid school system was extremely important, but beyond that, our particular house had the benefit of being an easy walk from our elementary school. We’ll have three children go from kindergarten through fifth grade at that school, and it’s a joy to have it so near. As the kids age out of elementary school, it’ll be more of a deal to get to middle school, but when they reach high school, it’ll again be quite close to home.

Cost: To put it simply, we didn’t want a high-end house or neighborhood. For us, big new-build houses or historic neighborhoods are fun to visit, but the cost of entry and continuing cost of maintenance, heating, cooling and so on were more than we cared to take on. We found a great value in a 20-year-old home with recent major maintenance that would hold us for many years to come.

Usable space: Cabinets and a proper pantry and a walk-up attic and a GARAGE and space to grow a family … when you’re living in a 1950s-era townhouse for a while, you start thinking about what you’d do if you just had some extra room to work. Just the kitchen counter space alone was a revelation.

Location: We found a home in an area where it’s woodsy but not remote; where we’re minutes away from groceries, gas, shopping and entertainment; where we’re a little further away from “the city” and work, but for our personal preferences and lifestyle, it’s an acceptable compromise.

We knew we’d found The Place when we walked into the front door and the owners had more or less the same wall colors and furniture that we did, plus photos of their own children, by then graduated and off to college and family life. In a way, they had reset the house for another family to come in and start all over. It was one of the best feelings to walk in and think “we’re home” even though it wasn’t ours … yet.

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1 comment:

  1. Great reasons for choosing a home! Just want to clarify though, on what appears to be a common misperception among folks, that new construction is more expensive. We built our home 6 years ago in a new-build neighborhood. It's a cookie cutter neighborhood, meaning the builder has a set amount of plans to choose from, and much of the framing of the homes are built offsite and shipped to the lot, like a modular home. Every one who built in this neighborhood got instant equity, because it cost less to build (the modular, cookie cutter way) than the house was worth. Our own home cost us a certain amount to build, but the appraisal immediately after its completion was $15,000 more than what we paid. In fact, many investors actually built homes in this neighborhood for that very reason, to turn them around and sell them. I've got friends who think we paid a lot to get into a new neighborhood and a brand new house, but that is not the case at all. I think this is probably true though only for cookie cutter neighborhoods. ��

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