Anna Messina's Blog
For generations, people have been saying that "the kitchen is the heart of the home." The meaning of that expression is open to interpretation, but just about everyone would agree that kitchens are generally a relaxing place where family and friends congregate.
Although there are a lot of things to consider when searching for just the right house that meets your needs, the size of your next kitchen and its practicality are important things to keep in mind. If you enjoy hosting dinner parties and family gatherings, a large kitchen with plenty of seating room and counter space is highly desirable.
In addition to the fact that you need space to prepare and serve food, you may also need room to put out snacks, hors d'oeuvres, and beverages. If your objective is to serve meals "buffet style" or "family style," then you'll also want to line up the necessary supplies, such as plates, napkins, utensils, cups, and condiments.
While a large, open kitchen is not absolutely essential to the success of a dinner party or holiday gathering, it does provide convenience, food serving options, and more mingling space. If you end up buying a home with a narrow galley kitchen, then you'll have to rely more on adjoining rooms for entertaining guests and serving food.
On a day-to-day basis, spacious eat-in kitchens are usually much more practical for busy families, too. Otherwise, space is at a premium and family members may find themselves bumping into each other as they prepare meals, wash cookware, or put away dishes. As you can imagine (or have experienced first-hand), a claustrophobic kitchen does not lend itself to family harmony! On the other hand, having a place where family members can comfortably sit across from each other at meal time lends itself to open communication and, hopefully, better family relations.
Other characteristics of an "ideal kitchen" might include energy-efficient appliances, a floor that's both attractive and spill resistant, and sufficient lighting in food preparation and eating areas. If homes you're considering don't have dimmer switches, that's a relatively simple and inexpensive feature to install -- preferably with the help of an electrician. Having the ability to soften the intensity of light will enable you to decrease the room's brightness and transition to a "relaxation mode" at the end of the day. Being able to turn the brightness back up will come in handy for paying bills at the kitchen table, reading the newspaper (if you don't access it online), helping your kids with their homework, or playing cards or board games.
Whether your kitchen requirements include stainless steel appliances, a quartz or granite island with a gas stove, or just plenty of room for a large kitchen table and chairs, your real estate agent will work with you to find the home that best matches your needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Whether you're looking for the house of your dreams or the spouse of your dreams, it helps to write up a detailed description of the qualities that matter most to you!
While your goals should be realistic and attainable, you do not want to compromise your standards or aim too low.
In the case of house hunting, there are many conditions which will directly affect the success of your search.
Here are some of the main ones.
- Your budget: All things being equal -- the higher your budget, the greater your chances for getting everything on your wish list. The most desirable locations, lot size, amenities, and square footage often come with a price. The same can be said of homes that are in optimal condition with lots of recent updates, improvements, and energy efficient or high-tech features.
- The real estate market: Three factors which will invariably affect the outcome of your real estate search will be the local real estate inventory (the number of properties available -- especially those in your price range), the law of supply and demand, and property values in your chosen geographic area.
- Your real estate agent: Choosing a real estate agent who's experienced, resourceful, and dedicated can prove to be a significant advantage in finding a home that matches your budget, your goals, and your desired lifestyle. Once you've decided what you want in your next home, an agent or Realtor can show you houses on the market that will meet many, if not all, of your requirements.
- Your wish list: Creating a list of property features and characteristics that you absolutely must have in your next home will help ensure that you get them. A carefully thought-out "wish list" is also a vital aspect of your search for the perfect or "near perfect" home. By creating a clear mental picture of your ideal living space, location, and environment, you'll be increasing your chances of finding a home that meets all your expectations. There are literally dozens of features to keep in mind, including architectural style, square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot, distance from the street, privacy, the spaciousness of the kitchen, and the layout of adjacent living areas. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining, for example, you might prefer an open floor plan. Features like a screened-in porch, a patio, and a large backyard are often major wish-list items for homeowners who enjoy outdoor living. Other items to consider may include things like a fireplace, a finished basement, a convenient laundry room, and a two-car garage. Proximity to stores, quality schools, medical/dental services, and recreation areas will also be key factors in the selection of your future home.