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Finding your dream home

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Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 7:19 am

In our area we have a handful of very recognizable homes: Locke House, Hill House, and even Mark Twain’s Cabin. But what about you and your hunt for your own personal Dream House? What features make a property a good candidate? Most dream home features are intangible and will differ from house hunter to house hunter. But the list below is a useful guide to think through as you peruse listings online or preview in real life:

1. Size. Your personal Dream House should be “right-sized” for you, your family and the activities you want to do regularly in the home. This is a shift from the days in which the conventional wisdom said that more square footage was always better, even if you weren’t going to use it.

2. Lifestyle match. Your Dream House will be one that matches up nicely with your lifestyle. For example:

  • A family with four children might need to be in a great public school district
  • A retirement-aged couple might consider one level
  • An extended family might find consider a full bedroom with en suite bath on the ground floor, for the grandparents
  • A growing family might have discrete spaces for a home office, play area, a shop, etc.

3. Vision for the Future. There are a number of ways your choice of home can help you realize your vision of the future. For example, buyers-to-be who dream of having their own businesses can pick properties that have the space for the office, workshop or client meeting area. Maybe your vision for the next phase of your life is focused on relaxing and traveling more, so your Dream House is a low-maintenance condo near the coffee shops you love. Cultivating clarity on your vision for your life before you start your house hunt is essential.

4. Resale Appeal. Dream Houses are homes that are easily personalized by whoever owns them at the time, and are not so heavily structurally customized that they lack appeal to a broad segment of buyers. Overly customized homes, especially those without other compelling features that many buyers will see as dreamy, can be difficult to sell. Being stuck in a home when you want or need to sell it is not a dream, it’s a nightmare.

As you begin your Dream Home search I hope you consider these important factors. Start by asking yourself this simple question: “What intangibles am I looking for in my Dream Home?” Happy hunting!

Sheri Aguilar is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at