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5 Tips for Finding Your Dream Home

Looking for a new home sweet home, but don’t know where to go? You’re not alone; a recent survey shows that most Americans rank buying a new house as the most stressful event of modern life.

If you’re struggling to put down roots, here are five tips for house hunting (and five fantastic, available homes) that might help.

Set your budget

Before you begin looking, figure out your finances. Obtain your credit score and complete a mortgage pre-qualification. You should have an amount in mind that you’re comfortable spending, and be sure not to break the bank. Consider any upgrades or renovations in the budget, as well; if you don’t have the time, energy, or savings for a total fixer-upper, focus on move-in ready homes. This four-bedroom beauty in the Andover Country Club is the perfect example. With quartzite countertops, hardwood floors, and French doors, this home requires no major makeover or upgrades. Luxury amenities like the wet bar, granite deck, and an aqua blue pebble bottom heated pool with built-in spa play into the price, so you can skip the calculations of construction.

Make a list of must-haves

It’s important to differentiate between what you want and what you need. Make a list of the essentials, like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, driving distance from work, backyard for the dog, etc. Does your potential property check off everything important? This gorgeous winterized home in Chilmark has five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and two half baths, a home office, and a roof deck, plus a massive deck and outdoor Jacuzzi. The tennis court, finished movie theater in the basement, wine cellar, and arcade room might not be musts, but they are most definitely making the want list.

Find your style

Do you see yourself lounging in the parlor room of an old Victorian? Or would a cozy bungalow better fill your family’s needs? Think about the types of homes that most interest you and suit your style. This spacious modern home in Lincoln surrounded by more than 89 acres of conservation land is ideal for buyers that appreciate the great outdoors. Flooded with natural light, the open first floor features a gas fireplace, designer kitchen, office, kitchen pantry, mudroom, and radiant heat. The second floor boasts four large bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry, and a gorgeous rooftop Zen garden off the master suite that allows you to become one with nature.

Research the neighborhood

Do your homework to decide if the neighborhood is right for you. Look into how many people already live there, plus find nearby spots to eat, drink, and shop. At 50 Liberty, you’d be at the center of the hustle and bustle of the Seaport District where there’s no shortage of stylish boutiques and cutting-edge cuisine. This one-bedroom with study has sweeping views of the Boston Harbor, a designer kitchen with a large breakfast bar, an en-suite master, oversized marble bath with double sinks, and hardwood floors throughout. Add in the five-star amenities like underground heated parking, 24/7 concierge service, a private fitness center, and resident lounge and you’ll begin to feel right at home in the new location.

Plan for the future

Get a house you can grow in. You want to think about fulfilling future needs, as well as what works right now. If you don’t have kids, but think you might someday, check out the school districts for the homes you’re looking at and invest in extra bedrooms. If you don’t have much time for cooking elaborate meals at home, but want to pursue cooking more, upgrade to a kitchen fit for dinner parties. This modern country manor in Carlisle has a lot of room for growth, thanks to the 5,400-square-foot main house, sprawling gardens, basketball and squash courts, cabana and pool, and 14.5 acres of land. So, you might not be a pro athlete now, but practice makes perfect.

For more information about finding your dream home with Douglas Elliman Real Estate, visit elliman.com/massachusetts