Just like fine wine, the perfect home only gets better with time
Sherry Foy, property finder, www.sourceharrogate.co.uk
IT WAS Valentine’s Day this week. Did you know the search for a perfect home or a perfect partner might have more in common than you think?Many couples would have considered how they could show their loved one that they are the perfect for them. Everyone hopes that a passionate romance will lead to a fulfilled life together through all the challenges that life brings. With planning and some luck, hopefully the relationship with your home will move through exactly the same stages.
Of course, the time for serious consideration, for many people, starts early on in a relationship and it is just the same when you are looking to buy your “happy ever after” home. Here are some key principles that can apply to both.
Know your “non-negotiables”. Think of these as your core values in relationship terms. These are likely to be aspects of your next property purchase that are critical to you. This could be anything from proximity to schools, ground floor apartment, number of bedrooms. Whatever it is, it will be personal to you and you need to be clear on your true non-negotiables and this will be the foundation of your search. Sometimes, just like with people, we get attracted by a smart exterior or something that really grabs our attention, but ask yourself the question, how long will the perfect interior finish last or the immaculate garden remain pristine? Nonnegotiables go deep.
Think practicality versus eye candy. While not wishing to seem dismissive of first impressions, remember to look beyond initial appearances so that you have as much understanding of your next potential home and don’t be blown away by knockout looks. The opposite also applies. Could you be the buyer that unlocks that home’s potential – changing the flow and use of rooms or creating that stunning kitchen diner which becomes the social hub of the home? It’s a great start to your dinner party when someone else says “I had no idea this house had such potential”
Consider the level of commitment required to maintain and develop the property. Is this something you are happy with for the long haul? Sometimes you just have to work out how much you like mowing grass, fixing leaks or kindling open fires. On the other hand, you can outsource maintenance, but not love! And sometimes the more you work on your house, the closer you get to a real bond. Perhaps you really do have to work hard on the things that matter, just make sure you don’t sign up for a money pit.
Is the house going to still “woo” you after the honeymoon period is over? A happy ever after home is one where you continue to feel content and glad that you chose it. Can you feel how the house will ebb and flow as your needs change? If you have young children, how will it cope with teenage sleepovers or even student reunions? The only people that will love you if you change home frequently will be estate agents and maybe HMRC for all that extra stamp duty.
This home needs to enhance your life, make you a better you! It should help and support your lifestyle and provide the security and emotional stability on which to build and grow. Personality and understanding what you are really looking for can make all the difference.
So, the big question is can you really fall in love with your home? I really think so – you just need to choose carefully. I love the joy of finding the right home for a client but I love it even more when my clients come back much later and say how much they still love their perfect home, and like a fine wine it just gets better with time. Now that’s true love.
Sheree Foy is founder of www.sourceharrogate.co.uk