The lighter side of real estate

6 Real Estate Tips for Choosing Your Dream Home

Finding your dream home can be a challenge. Utilizing these 6 real estate tips can help you locate and choose the home you truly desire.


Stephanie Huskey is the resident real estate blogger for Movoto.

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artist's rendering of dream home


The term “dream home” means a lot of different things to a wide variety of people.

To some, it means a cozy cabin on an acre or two of lake-front property near a small town. To others, it means an average-sized two-story dwelling in a friendly suburb. And then there are people who want the $1.3 million New York City apartment with views of the Empire State Building.

Regardless of what type of person you are or what type of home suits your fancy the most, there are a lot of important decisions that go into picking out your dream home. In this article, we’ll give you 6 real estate tips to consider when trying to select the home your heart craves most of all. And they are:

Square Footage

If you time-travel back to 30 years in the past, homes were usually around 1,645 square feet in size. Today, that number has gone up to 2,195. But since the housing bubble burst, that number is starting to shrink as people eliminate superfluous rooms like “exercise rooms, offices, studies, and media rooms”. Really, it all comes down to how much — or little — house do you want and/or need.


Do you like your home with rooms that are intimate and traditional, or do you prefer an open floor plan that will help facilitate parties, family get-togethers, and other forms of entertainment? Neither is better than the other; it just all comes down to need and personal preference.

Home Grade

This section could also be labeled “cost,” because the grade of home you want affects the price. Obviously, a home with granite countertops, authentic stone floors, and mahogany wood paneling is going to cost much more than a home with laminate counters, ceramic flooring, and pine paneling. If you want a green home (i.e. one with “zero-voc paint, bamboo floors, and recycled counters”), that will also affect price. Decide what you want and make sure it fits your budget.


Sure, a big, beautiful, well-maintained lawn sounds good in theory, but are you willing to perform the necessary upkeep? Opting for a condo or townhouse decreases your lawn maintenance, but it could also hinder your entertaining, especially if you’re a fan of cook-outs and flag football. Determine if you’re willing to put the time into a lawn; if you don’t want one, nix houses with large yards from your search.


Picking a neighborhood can be hard. If you have children (or plan on having some in the future), your choice will probably determine what public school they attend. Other things that can influence your choice are your daily commute to work, whether or not you want to be in a historic part of town, what kind of demographics interest you the most, or how close you want to be to your city’s dining and entertainment venues. Figure out where you are in life — and where you’re headed — and plan accordingly.

Surrounding Area

This one relates back to the previous section. What kind of dining, shopping, and entertainment options do you need to be near your dream home? (For example, I know I personally have to live within 15 minutes of a Wal-Mart in order to get by.) Be sure to scope out what’s available to you in the town/city that interests you. That way, you won’t be disappointed down the road when you discover your dream home is nowhere near your favorite chain restaurant.

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posted on: November 28, 2011
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