If you’ve ever moved anywhere, you know the process can be labor-intensive and not always fun. You’ve likely uttered the phrase, “We’re never moving again!” sometime during the event. That’s why the thought of finding a forever home — a property that will see you through every stage of life so you really can never move again — can be quite an appealing prospect.
But what should you look for in a forever home? While it’s natural to focus on what you need right now, you’ll want to think long-term when looking for a location that will be your home base for years to come. To put you in that future-thinking mindset, we’ve created a list of must-have factors to look for in your forever home. Here are eight top considerations to keep in mind during your home-buying journey.
You’ve heard it before. Real estate is all about “location, location, location,” which is why it’s one of the top factors to consider when purchasing your forever home. While the location of your starter home may have centered around outside factors like your children’s schools or commute distance, your forever home should work for your pre- and post-retirement lifestyle.
Consider factors like weather, proximity to family members, accessibility to conveniences like grocery stores, and closeness to recreational activities like golf courses or community centers. Remember to take future life stages into account. While you may be OK with a long drive into town or a steep sloping driveway now, these things could become cumbersome later in life.
While you should consider the accessibility of the location, you should also think about the accessibility of the home itself. You may not give a second thought about navigating a flight of stairs now. However, they could present a challenge as you age or if you incur an injury. Depending on the geographic location, multistory homes are often more desirable or completely unavoidable. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them for your future forever home.
Look for features like vertical platform lifts (VPLs), stair lifts, shaftless elevators, or space to add them. For example, unlike traditional home elevators, shaftless elevators run through the floor without requiring the construction of an elevator shaft, saving space and installation time. Features like these will allow you to access all floors with ease.
3. Luxury Upgrades
For many homebuyers, forever homes reflect years of hard work. So why not look for — or build — a property with luxury upgrades and comfortable features? While you may have made compromises on your starter home, your forever home should check off most of your wishlist.
Look for properties with luxury upgrades like hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens, large ensuite baths, and bonus spaces. Additionally, hone in on a home with character-rich features like a built-in home elevator or dumbwaiter. Features like these provide elegant touches along with practical accessibility.
Arrow Lift offers an excellent selection of elevators and dumbwaiters designed to bring luxury, sophistication, and accessibility to your home.
4. Structural Integrity
The last thing you want in your forever home is a forever project. So while you may love the charm of an older house, it’s essential to scrutinize any property’s structural integrity.
Consider factors like:
- When the home was built
- The age of the roof
- Any existing water damage
- Signs of foundation damage
- Updates to plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems
Remember to always conduct a home inspection before purchase. Before engaging in the process, create a list of projects you’re willing and unwilling to take on. A list like this will keep you focused on your long-term goals.
5. Spaces That Work for Your Lifestyle
It may go without saying, but your forever home should have spaces that work for your lifestyle now and can be adapted for your future needs. If you like to host family and friends, look for homes with large entertaining spaces, open-concept floor plans, and updated kitchens. If you plan to work on do-it-yourself projects after retirement, look for properties with functional office spaces, hobby rooms, or an ample garage.
Additionally, consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you will need in later life stages. While you may have required many extra bedrooms for children and guests in previous residences, you may not want to have all the extra space to maintain in your forever home. For many buyers, forever homes present an opportunity to downsize.
Technology enhances so many aspects of our lives. After all, you probably found this handy list through a web search! Look for innovative features in your forever home to help ease everyday tasks and streamline your life. Here are some of the top smart home upgrades to ask about in your search:
- Alarm systems
- Built-in light controls
- Smart thermostats
- Remote access locks
- Doorbell cameras
- Home hubs, like Alexa or Google
- Automated window shades
- Built-in speaker systems
- Media rooms
- High-speed or fiber internet connections
Imagine cooking and asking your home hub to update your grocery list with a simple voice command or waking up with the sunrise as your pre-programmed window coverings lift. Smart home features can be powerful upgrades to enhance your lifestyle.
7. Outdoor Living Space
Don’t forget to think outside the home. The decision-making process for your forever home purchase should include its outdoor environment. Outdoor living space provides a valuable spot to get a breath of fresh air and relax. However, you need to consider practical maintenance factors when evaluating the backyard of your potential forever home, as well as aesthetics. Consider how much maintenance you will be willing to put in and let that determine factors like yard size, flower beds, pools, and water features.
Do you see yourself tending to a growing vegetable garden, enjoying yard games, or perhaps relaxing on a small condo balcony? The choice will significantly impact your future lifestyle and forever home.
8. Maintenance Requirements
Factors of size, age, and finishes primarily determine interior and exterior home maintenance requirements. The larger the home, the more routine maintenance it will require. Additionally, older homes and homes with wood siding will require more upkeep than newer brick or stucco construction homes.
When selecting a forever home, many buyers prioritize properties with lower maintenance needs so they can focus on enjoying retirement later in life. Therefore, shopping for new construction homes, low-maintenance condos, or HOA properties that include exterior and yard maintenance in monthly dues might be beneficial.
Make Your Forever Dream Home a Reality
Knowing what to look for is the key to finding your dream forever home. Before you begin your search or have a builder draw up plans, create a list of must-haves and factors where you’re unwilling to compromise. Additionally, look for properties that offer luxury upgrades, conveniences, and accessible features that will meet current and future lifestyle needs.
If you’re interested in adding an accessible upgrade like a stair lift, home elevator, or dumbwaiter to your forever home, trust the experts at Arrow Lift. Arrow Lift is a family-owned business and BBB accredited with an A+ rating for our quality products and service. Request a free consultation to help bring your dream home to life!