Is it time to expand? Would a larger yard suit your needs? After a few years, lifestyles change. With this shift, also comes a desire to change the environment to suit these new interests or family expansions. The real estate market is vast, so it’s best to prepare before looking at inventory. A bit of organization and research may lead you to the perfect space. Here are three things prospective buyers should consider.

1. Is the Neighborhood a Good Fit?

Work with a real estate agent to create a list of locations to tour. Spend time online, looking at the areas. How close is it to work? Is the school district strong? What do people say about the community? Get a feel for the neighborhood vibe and amenities. These points matter more than you may think.  The physical structure is important, but this decision is also about feeling good and finding things to do.

As you tour homes for sale in Northern Suffolk VA, look around. Are people spending time outside? Observe the social interaction among children and adults. How well are the lawns and buildings kept? Property should be tended to regularly for improved value. If other people are not doing their part, then resale may not be as strong.

2. How Much Room Do You Desire?

Write out your hopes and needs. Keep them in mind as you walk through the residences. Find something that has almost all of your musts. It may be challenging to find it all, but the more the better. Don’t sacrifice functionality and comfort for aesthetic appeal. If an office makes life easier, it shouldn’t be skipped for crown molding or chandeliers. You have the option to change cosmetics down the road. Adding rooms is more expensive and complicated.

3. Does the Place Fit Your Monthly Budget?

Examine the overall cost of the monthly expenses. How much might utilities cost? Can you afford the HOA or CDD fees and the taxes? The mortgage broker should be able to estimate this for you. Also, insurance varies by location and the home’s age. Speak with an agent about the estimated fees.

Other charges might arise from moving. If your current furniture doesn’t fit, can you spring for something that works? If not, you’ll be overextended or living in bare rooms. That may prove frustrating and defeat the purpose of getting a new place.

Be reasonable when house hunting. Know your limitations and wishes. When you find something that fits both, you’re likely to be happier.