|Deciding on the bells and whistles|
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI
there a checklist for prioritizing which amenities you want in a home?
a rating system that you may find helpful in determining the features that are
really important to you in your next home. By the time you complete the system,
you'll know which items you absolutely must have (top priority) and which you'd
like to have but could live without.
First, jot down the following six categories with various
selections you'd consider: (1) type of home (townhouse, detached single family,
condo); (2) architectural style and design (single level, tudor); (3)
neighborhood features (close to shopping, preferred school districts, proximity
to major highways); (4) interior features (number of baths and bedrooms, formal
living room, island in kitchen); (5) exterior features (half-acre lot, storage
areas, carport); and (6) other features you feel are important (like appliances
The first time through the list, mark a "1" next
to all of the items you'd like to have in a home. Consider this your ultimate
wish list. The second time through the list, concentrating only on the items you
checked before, add a "2" next to each item that you must have. Take
some time here and choose only those items that you feel you can't live without.
Each item that warranted a total score of "3" becomes a mandatory
feature (based on your budget, of course.) The balance of the amenities are
nice, but not necessary.
Your final step is to prioritize all the number 3s. Go back
through the list and arrange each "3" in order of priority. This will
help you focus on the houses that contain the majority of your top-rated
features and you won't be as likely to be swayed by Italian tile or other nice,
but not necessary, amenities.
Keep in mind that there are very few perfect homes that
contain all the amenities you're after (especially if you're on a budget.)
Ultimately, home selection is about tradeoffs.
purchasing a new home and it appears that there's less "flash" and
more square footage in homes than when we first purchased a new home in 1975. Is
this a national trend?
you're seeing is, in fact, a strong national trend. The median size of new
houses nationwide today is 2,100 square feet, up nearly 500 square feet from 20
years ago, according to a 1995 survey by the National Association of Home
Builders. More of today's homes are setting aside elegance for comfort and
economy in amenities like fireplaces, two-car garages and central air
conditioning. Sacrificing luxurious appointments helps keep down the cost of the
additional square footage.