Tips to Find Your Forever Home
Are you looking to find your forever home? Over the next five years, 1 in 3 households plan to move to another home. According to a recent US Census Bureau study, 48% of people who moved did so for housing-related reasons. When taking a deeper look at what some of these housing-related reasons are, it quickly becomes clear there are plenty of ways to create your forever home out of the one you have, no moving necessary.
What is the easiest way to stay put and still create your dream home? Through the use of technology, and even a few hacks, you can save both time and money and turn your existing home into the oasis you have always dreamed about.
Why People Are Moving
So, what are some of the reasons people listed as to why they wanted to move? The main theme was about being closer to family, with 30.3% of people citing “family” as the reason. This group of people likely includes older adults whose children have left the house, creating a common feeling of the “empty nest.” Parents want to be closer to stay connected with their children and possibly grandchildren, and vice versa.
Another reason often listed is that people want to move to a more energy efficient home. Some people bought homes that were built in the 70s, 60s, 50s, or earlier, so they were not designed with modern codes in mind. They certainly were not built with modern technology in mind.
Downsizing was the next big trend. More than ever, people seem to feel the house they currently have is just too much for them or their family, so the only apparent solution is to move. On the other end of that spectrum is the need for more space. With growing families, it is easy for people to find themselves in situations where they simply have no more room!
But moving can be an enormous and stressful hassle. It can quickly get quite costly in terms of time, money, and well-being. Instead of thinking outside the home, we wanted to think of ways to tackle these common challenges to create a forever home out of where you are today.
Finding Better Home Solutions
Moving closer to family is really an issue of connectivity. This is the most connected society in history, so we should pause and consider whether physical closeness will solve the problem, or if perhaps leveraging modern modes of connecting is a better compromise, saving you time and easing stress. If you are looking for a new home to be closer to family, consider investing in ways to stay connected with your family no matter where you find yourselves. There are plenty of ways we can turn to technology to keep our families close.
Embrace the good parts of social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat can be scary places, but most of these platforms can be converted to hang out groups for loved ones too. Something like a Family only Facebook group is a great way for everyone to check in on each other. Family members can post photos and stories every day, so you never feel like you are missing a thing!
There are some hardware options out there as well that fall within the “Smart Home” movement. Something like a Nucleus smart home intercom system is a great way to connect with family instantly, no matter where they are. Devices can be linked across the country and on your smart phones. This is a great solution for the older members of a family as well; Grandma can see what her grandchildren have been working on today or even call for help if needed!
Powering our homes can be a challenge. It is hard to keep track of everything we count on our house for on a daily basis. But generally speaking, these kinds of things can be broken down into two categories: temperature and electricity. Moving to a home that has been built to be energy efficient in these two areas is certainly a solution, but there are many ways to impact these areas that will not require you to uproot!
When was the last time you looked at your heating and cooling ducts? It is often the case that these systems are not properly insulated, especially when it comes to attics and vented crawl spaces. Sealing these connections properly can save a ton of money on utilities. Also, do not hesitate to keep vents closed in rooms you are not actively using. Just like shutting off the lights, you could close the vent as well. This ensures heat is where you want it to be, putting less stress on the system.
Electricity is an easy place to create more efficiency. If you can, try to make sure all your appliances are Energy Star labeled. Switching to an Energy Star Refrigerator, for example, can save you $70 a year in utility costs. That is over $1,000 over the estimated life of the appliance. Multiply that across multiple appliances, and you are saving yourself quite a bit of money.
Of course, lightbulbs are also a key factor in making your forever home more energy efficient. 25% of electricity costs go to lighting the home. Switching to LED is a good first step. LED light bulbs run anywhere from 1/3rd to 1/30th the wattage of traditional bulbs, and last up to 10 times longer.
Sometimes people get the feeling that they just have too much space. If you had a large family living in your house but they are no longer there, you might be in a situation where you really do have too big of a house and need to downsize into a smaller home.
However, a lot of times the desire to downsize is actually a need to declutter. It is easy to feel like we have too much “space,” where it is harder to admit we have to much “stuff.” Simply holding a yard sale or donating unwanted items can be a great way to declutter your home. If you are looking for a more extreme method of decluttering, consult the master Marie Kondo in her book “Spark Joy.” Alleviate the feeling of needing to “downsize” and turn your home into a place you cannot imagine leaving.
Make sure you have exhausted all your current options when it comes to upsizing before committing to a move. In addition to the decluttering tip above, there are so many home storage hacks out there that can make rooms that feel full into rooms full of space! A key to remember is that “vertical” is your friend. Anytime a vertical surface can be used, use it. Walls of the house, walls inside of closets, anything vertical. Mounting boxes, baskets, racks, or anything else you can think of to get things up off the floor is they key to opening up your home. You would be amazed at how much you can store in vertical storage solutions.
You may even decide to finish a basement, attic space, or even add an entirely new extension onto your home. While these options can be both expensive and time consuming, they may be the perfect solution that helps make your decision on staying put or moving an easier one.
Of course, the decision to move may simply be what is best, but it is important to first think creatively about all the ways you could turn your “for now” home into your forever home. What about you? Have you ever avoided a move by coming up with a different solution?
Additional Home Buying Tips
Tips For Aging In Place via Dan Barcelon
How Home Buyers Find Houses by Kevin Vitali
10 Home Buying Misconceptions from Kyle Hiscock
If you found this article on how to find your forever home helpful, please socially share it so others can also benefit from the information. ~ Anita ~