There is so much excitement in building and buying homes, that often times, we forget a few things along the way. Whether you’re investing in your first house or diving in deep with your forever home, you need to make sure your comfort is going to last you for years past that initial home-buying high.
Thankfully, with a little help from my friends and family, I’ve got you covered in a comprehensive list to check for when investing in your next home.
1) Linen and Towel Space
This may seem like something you could make do without. After all, we all only have one body, so how many sheets or towels do we actually need? Simply put in a little rule; three for me. Take the number three and multiple it by however many people are in your home for your bed sheet count as well as your towel count. This leaves you with one set on the bed and two in storage (one extra for emergency/for the colder months). It also allows you to only be doing towel laundry once/twice a week depending on how often you shower. This is a bare minimum space you’ll need because you’ll also compile your child’s favorite throw blankets as well as camping/outdoor sheets for picnicking and such. Be aware of how much space those comforters take up.
2) Pantry Space
Food and condiments take up so much space! My mom just converted my brother’s old bedroom into a walk-in pantry. Oh, the dream. We all can’t always have that much space, but a built-in closet deeper than your average linen closet is a nice touch. The biggest mistake we made when we moved into an apartment once was not looking for this feature. For a few months, we used the cabinets, but all of our appliances were homeless. Then we bought a standing pantry unit, but it took up so much floor space and felt awkward next to our table. This can literally be a feature that will make or break your kitchen a year down the line.
3) Closet Space
Now, not all closets are created equal, my friends. I have been spoiled my entire life with surplus closet space. My childhood bedroom had a walk-in one. My first apartment was two bedrooms, so I naturally used both. Yet, when we bought this house… I didn’t think anything of it, except, “Yay! A closet I can finally own!” Wrong… I split this thing with my husband. Have you ever tried to fit a walk-in closet’s worth of clothes in a space no longer than one of your arms? Impossible! Then it overflows to dressers that are big and bulky and take up the majority of the room. Be aware of the closet space or you will lose clothing, floor space, your sanity, and any chance of getting dressed quickly again.
4) Dining Room Space
A friend of mine that is an architect said that this is an outdated concept in modern homes. No one wants formal dining anymore. That’s fine and all, but you need to have space in general for a table that at least fits your family. We made the mistake of not measuring before we bought and so all we can fit in ours is a nook that we have to push against the wall when we aren’t using it. Constantly moving the table takes a toll on our floors and makes it where we can’t access the downstairs steps or door when we all sit down. It is entirely too frustrating and I wanted to blow out the wall in the kitchen and expand all within two days of living here.
5) Outside Storage
We bought a home that has a beautiful outside, yet to maintain and entertain outside, it takes a lot of stuff. We did not think about where the lawnmower is going to go, the cushions for the chairs, the gardening supplies, the car washing stuff, or basically any outdoor stuff (especially in the winter). So we have been dealing with an unorganized mess piled up in our unwalkable garage because it’s just not big enough to store all that we need/have. A good rule of thumb – get outdoor storage that is at least a fourth the size of your lot.
6) Take Note of the Age of Your Furnace and Hot Water Heater
Guys, people preach for you to take the warranty. We did, it expired and the hot water heater blew. Thankfully, we were financially able to replace it, but after researching them for a week, did you know that they basically have a set life? They are guaranteed to last X number of years but after that… it could break down at any moment. Take note of this date when you’re buying and make sure your budget can financially support that timeframe.
7) Outside Outlets
This was not a must for us when we were looking, but the possibilities it has opened up for us along the way are endless. We can go anywhere around our house and plug-in laptops, phones, lawn accessories, projectors for outdoor movie nights, or even a hot tub. This is something that can significantly improve the way you utilize your outdoor space.
Your house will always be a completed home with your family together, but the value of your at-home family time can be tremendously improved with these seven features. Happy home building/buying, my friend!