Recent figures show that we are living in our homes for longer than in the past. Partly the figures are influenced by our ageing population, but apparently the average person in Britain moves home every 23 years, as compared to three decades ago when the number was much lower at 9 years. Particularly in more expensive areas, increases in stamp duty have created considerable disincentives to the usual flow from single to couple then family with each change previously often resulting in a move to a different, larger home.
Of course these are just averages, and there's individual variation and regional variation to consider; many of us probably don't plan to stay put for two decades or more in our current homes. Having said that, it's probably something everyone should consider when buying a home – will I be happy to live here in 5 years, 10 years or more?
You should create a wish-list based not just on your life now, but on what you think you will need or want in the future. This will create a specification for what your house hunting, and you will be able to make direct comparisons between different properties that you view according to your personal criteria.
So think about bedrooms, bathrooms, gardens, parking, garages, location relative to schools and places of work. Think about opportunity to extend, about how you would change the property or what is already exactly how you would want it.
Some houses and homeowners are able to adapt over time, what you thought was essential may turn out to be overshadowed by something else that your home has to offer, or you are able to work on the house to bring it in line with your vision. As an example, you may have been looking for a 3 bedroom home, but found that a house with 2 large bedrooms is actually more useful than having 3 smaller rooms (one often being little more than an oversized cupboard!).
Ultimately, during your hunt for the perfect home, you will have to go with your feelings. In reality a 'perfect' home is an ideal to work towards but a journey that often times will involve compromise. Don't be shy about asking for repeat viewings, and also consider taking a walk around the street that the home is in.
At Rolfe East we pride ourselves on matchmaking people with the right homes for them and we'd love to help you!