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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.”

No matter what demographic homebuyers belong to, there are key features to consider not only for the short-term, but also for several years down the road.

Here’s a look at 10 things homebuyers should take into account along their homeshopping journey.

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of what seems to be the perfect house for homebuyers today, but what about plans to have three kids, travel abroad next year or retire in two years?

Having a a big-picture overview of lifestyle in the coming years will help homebuyers in the decision-making process of selecting their dream home.

2. Financial stability

Real estate is an incredible investment, and homebuyers want to be sure they are in a sustainable comfort zone for their financial future.

Homebuyers should be careful of overextending and be willing to compromise on a property’s features.

If they are going to have kids and drop down to one income, take that into consideration. If they’re headed toward retirement, they should know the contents of their financial portfolio.

3. Multigenerational living

When viewing homes for current lifestyle, homebuyers should be on the lookout for repurposing opportunities that make sense for the future.

Dining rooms can be turned into master suites, garages made into bedrooms and ramps installed over stairs for wheelchair access.

Being open to altering the floor plan when necessary will help pave the way for growing in place, especially if buyers need to make space for the kids or parents.

4. Maintenance

Keeping up with the maintenance of the roof, siding, landscaping, systems and so on must be part of the decision-making process.

Buyers should ask themselves: Are we ready to put in the time, energy and money needed to preserve our investment?

Some homes require more rigorous upkeep schedules than others, and buyers must be prepared to keep the home in good condition.

Maybe 10 acres is appealing today, but a few years down the road it might become overwhelming.

5. Know the walkability score

Buyers, are you interested in walking to shops, cafes, restaurants and the grocery store? It’s easy to find a neighborhood’s walkability score.

At some point you might decide you don’t need a car due to the accessibility of amenities in your neighborhood.

Also, public transportation is a convenient option in many cites, plus there’s Uber and taxis to help with transportation needs.

6. Access to schools and medical

Some buyers want to be near schools, while others find it necessary to be near the hospital.

As buyers consider what they will be doing 5 to 10 years down the road, they should keep in mind the ease of access to these important facilities.

7. What activities do you enjoy?

Homebuyers, are you so busy that you find it hard to take time to engage in your hobbies? Perhaps in a couple years buyers will have more time to bike, kayak, golf, etc.

If buyers buy a place that encourages more play time now and in the future, that’s a winning scenario.

8.  Social connections

Is the new home near friends and loved ones? Will it be easy for people to come visit? Do the homebuyers like to entertain and hope to host regular dinner parties?

Getting together with people is an integral part of healthy living, so make sure a new home offers opportunities for making those connections.

9. Local economy

Be sure buyers understand what is feeding the local economy of a community. Is it thriving due to one major employer, or are there several companies in place spurring growth?

Are there plans for future development in the works? Researching what is happening in any area that buyers are considering making a purchase in is pragmatic and will serve the homebuyers’ best interests.

10. Investment property

Does the house that the homebuyers are considering have the potential to rent easily if they need to move but want to keep it?

Buyers might have the opportunity to use it as an investment to sell at a later date, gift to someone or even move back into at a later date.

Purchasing a home is full of excitement, emotions and strategy. Having a plan in place, a vision of the future and being well-informed is an excellent way to ensure success in finding the right place to call home.

Debbie Biery is the Expansion Ambassador with eXp Realty.

This article originally appeared on Inman.com.

Published date on HAR.com: Jul. 10, 2018


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