It is often said that family makes a house a home. At Corken + Company, we know just how true this statement is. And, as your family grows, we know your home must grow and evolve alongside it. With low rates and low inventory, there is unprecedented opportunity in the Denver real estate market for your family to find the perfect home. Whether you need more room, less maintenance, or just a change of scenery, Corken + Company is by your side. To help us both prepare and inform our home search, here are ten important things, published by REcolorado home blog, to consider when you are buying a family home in Colorado.
1. The Budget
Purchasing a home is likely the largest investment your family will make. Luckily, because of Denver’s dramatic upward trend in home values, you can be assured you will see a return on that investment. It also means you will need to be strategic and realistic with how you save and what you purchase. While, you might be pleasantly surprised when your lender tells you how much you can afford, you need to keep in mind the hidden costs of both purchasing and maintaining a home. Property taxes, closing costs, HOA fees, and future repairs should all be considered. The first step in buying your first home or transitioning from an old home to a new home is developing a practical and comprehensive budget. All other aspects of the decision-making process will hinge on an awareness of these parameters. Here are some great tips to help you buckle down and save up, especially as a first-time homebuyer.
2. The Age
Denver is an old city but has experienced so much rapid growth in recent decades. Homes on the market range all styles and, more importantly, all ages. Here, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of a sleek new build or a charming vintage home.
New Home Pros – You may be able to have some say in the final details, finishes, and aspects of your home’s construction. You will also likely encounter less maintenance, especially for the first few years of homeownership. Newer developments and neighborhoods tend to attract younger families for their affordability. If you yourself have young children, you might encounter many neighbors with children the same age.
New Home Cons – The neighborhood may not be as developed as neighborhoods with older homes. It can be hard to predict precisely how it will develop and grow and how that trajectory will impact your family’s daily life as well as your home’s future value.
Old Home Pros – It will likely be in a developed neighborhood you can trust to be safe. Your future home value is more secure. The home may have lots of quirks and charm that is difficult to recreate in new homes.
Old Home Cons – Your home will require more upkeep and maintenance. It might also require remodeling or updates and will not necessarily be move in ready. The layout and design of the home could be outdated, smaller, and might not work as well for your family’s particular needs. Depending on their location and condition, older homes can also be more expensive.
3. The Future
Consider your intentions in purchasing this home. Are you wanting something for the next three to five years or are you looking for your “forever home”? Is there even such a thing as a “forever home” for your family? If you have an idea of what your family will need out of your home and for how long, you can consider the adaptability and potential of your purchase. Can you add on for more space if you need to? Do you even want to take on a project like that? Do you know and love the neighborhood enough to be in it long term? Will your family be ready to move in three years or even one?
At this stage, we encourage you to consider all the different reasons you might make this purchase now against how relevant those reasons will still be to your family in five, ten, or even twenty years. No one can predict the future but knowing a probable (however rough) timeline has the potential to make or break your decision.
4. The Schools
If you have children, the schools you’ll be near and the school district you’ll be a part of is a huge consideration. It is usually heavily tied to the community of a place as well. Do your research, online and in person. Visit schools and talk to parents who live in the area. How involved are parents? How well equipped are schools with teachers, supplies, and technology? What are the class sizes? How does each school filter into the next as your children transitions through the grades? How close or far away from home are the schools your children will be attending? All of this and more will affect your decision in this regard.
5. The Space & Amenities
Down to brass tacks. Can mom have the giant owner’s suite bathtub she has always craved to get some well-deserved alone time? Does dad have an extra space in the garage to accommodate his hobby of restoring vintage sports cars? Do the kids have a playroom for all their toys and enough space for bunk beds in their rooms to optimize neighborhood sleepovers? Be thoughtful about the daily needs of your family and scrutinize how well the home you intend to purchase will fulfill those needs and more.
6. The Backyard
The exterior of your home may be just as valuable to your family as the interior. Especially now, as we are more homebound and crave fresh air and time outdoors more than ever, you want a hard-working yard. Does it have the garden boxes you always wanted or at least room to build some? Is there space for a swing set or a patio to create some outdoor entertaining and dining space? If you consider them when picking your home, the possibilities can be endless and promise high dividends. Upgrading outdoor spaces is among the most valuable renovations you can do.
7. The Location & Commute
Google map it. How far away is work? What route and what method will you take each day to get there? Be well aware of the time, energy, and money you will spend on daily transit. You might also want to consider other important destinations for your family. If you travel around or out of the country frequently, how long is the drive to DIA? If you love an occasional getaway to the mountains, how close is i70? If you have family in Colorado Springs or Fort Collins, where is the closest on ramp to i25? Some extra effort to get around may not matter to you, but it’s still important to know exactly how it will play a role in the use and value of your home.
8. The Neighborhood
The neighborhood you choose to live in should reflect your family’s priorities. Walk the streets surrounding your future home and talk to neighbors. What are the yards like? What conditions are the homes in? How well-maintained are the sidewalks, streets, and parks? Who else is out on the street, if anyone? All of these observations can help you better understand the vibe and pace of your potential neighborhood. Also map out what is in close proximity. Are you close to an interstate or busy intersection? Are you close to a park with a pond? What of this neighborhood landscape matters to you and what doesn’t? A certain aspect of your location may come to heavily outweigh other imperfections you find with your potential purchase.
9. The Potential
There is a chance you find a beautiful home, the right layout, the right size, on the right block, with the right schools but it needs some minor or even major upgrades. Here, you may want to revisit the budget. But, even if you have the money to complete necessary renovations and upgrades, do you have the time and desire to manage such projects. Fixer uppers can be stressful undertakings for already busy families. Making a home all your own may be well worth this investment, but again be mindful of what exactly you are getting your family into. The duration and extent of renovations can vary widely so involving contractors and getting a realistic understanding of all it would take before closing might be a good idea. Corken + Company, with an extensive network of real estate professionals, can help you obtain these estimates and answers.
10. The Emotion
Trust your gut. If you can picture your kids doing their homework at the kitchen counter, the piles of laundry in the laundry room, and the vintage hutch your grandmother gave you in the dining room, than you’ve probably found it. The emotion you get when you walk into a home matters so much. Pay attention to your feelings.
Corken and Company believes in home searches, not just house searches. There lots of houses out there, but only one home that’s right for your family. Offering real estate solutions without limits, trust us to help you find it.