Are you the stay-at-home type who loves to snuggle up with a good book in the evening? Perhaps you like entertaining, cooking and long dinners outside during the summer months when friends and family visit. Or, maybe your family makes for a full house with young children, and you need plenty of space to grow and play. Whatever the case may be, when it comes to buying a home, it’s important to find a house that truly meets your needs and one you can happily call “Home Sweet Home.”

While no house is perfect, it’s useful to make a list of “must-haves,” before you go house-hunting. Plus, you’ll want a more generous list of features you’d like to have in your new home too. A little preparation will go a long way.

Before buying a home, here are a few thought-starters to consider:

  •      Do you have an active lifestyle and want a neighborhood that provides easy access to gyms, parks, sports fields, or hiking trails?
  •      Are you thinking about aging in place? If you’re of retirement age, or you’re looking forward to a multigenerational household, it makes sense to choose a home that everyone can live in easily and comfortably without extensive remodeling. You’ll want to look with universal design in mind.
  •      Do you like entertaining? You might look for homes with a dedicated media room or home theater or perhaps enough outdoor space for a pergola or gazebo.
  •      Do you like to walk around and explore your neighborhood? Some locations are more walkable than others and have an array of shops, restaurants, and cultural fixtures like museums and art galleries. On the other hand, if you like peace and quiet, the right home for you might be situated well away from a bustling downtown.
  •      How much “sweat equity” are you willing to invest in your home? If you’re a regular weekend warrior, you might want a home that needs some remodeling, but if you’re a busy professional or just aren’t enthused about do-it-yourself projects, a move-in ready home is probably your best bet.

Once you’re ready to buy, focus on these four areas:

Home Exterior

  •   How large is the front yard and how close is the house to the street? What exterior upgrades do you see yourself adding, or does the home already have great curb appeal? Is the street where you will be living busy or a cul-de-sac that is more isolated and better for children?
  •   Whether you choose a Tudor, a Colonial, or a Victorian, have you looked at all of the different architectural options? Depending upon the type of home, there can be very distinct features characteristic of the architectural style you choose.
  •   Do you need a large backyard with plenty of room for a swing set or an outdoor kitchen for entertaining? You may eventually want to add patios, a swimming pool, or garden, so it’s worth thinking about these possibilities as well.

Finding Your Home Sweet Home | Victoria Carter

Home Interior

  •   Are the floors hardwood or tile and what type of maintenance is involved in keeping them looking their best? If there is wallpaper, do you like it, or will it need to be removed and the walls painted? Is there enough natural light or will you need to add window treatments – often a big expense.
  •   The master bedroom will be your daily retreat, so consider the room’s shape, size, and location as well as the amount of closet space. Is the master bathroom en-suite, and does it offer the bathing and shower options you would like, or will you need to upgrade?
  •   How many bedrooms are there, and does the home provide an extra room for use as a home office, guest room, kids’ playroom or storage space?
  •   Is there a formal living room and dining room or is the home open plan? Whichever it is, does it work for your family’s needs?
  •   If there is a basement, how are you planning to use it? Is it finished, and if not, will you need to finish it so you can take advantage of the space?


  •      Are the bathrooms, especially the master bathroom, spacious enough? Does the home have enough bathrooms, and are they located in sensible places?
  •      Do you like the lighting, countertops, and fixtures as is, or would you consider an overhaul?
  •      Do the bathrooms have bathtubs, and if not, does that work for your lifestyle? Particularly in the master bathroom, does the tub’s size and shape meet your expectations, and similarly, how about the shower?


  •      Does the kitchen come with modern, high-grade appliances? If not, are you prepared to upgrade to improve your life at home and increase the home’s value?
  •     Is the cabinetry spacious and up to your standards? Do you have countertops and backsplashes designed with materials you like such as marble or granite?
  •      Is there enough surface space for entertaining? Is there an island that extends the usable counter space? If you love to cook, does the kitchen have modern and multiple ovens?

Your home is a reflection of who you are and the lifestyle you lead, which is why it’s so important to find one that has the ability to grow alongside you and your family. If you’re ready to find your Home Sweet Home, contact Victoria Carter at (973) 220-3050 or email I would love to assist you.


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