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Month October 2014 Archive

 Provocative Modern Earth Home in the Heart of Sardinia’s Emerald Coast

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Architect Luca Marastoni in collaboration with interior designer firm BONVECCHIO have completed House in Sardinia, a daring modern residential project. Situated on the first line of the Gulf of Portisco, in the heart of Sardinia Emerald coast, the residence stands out due to its concrete structures pierced by windows and green rooftops. An outdoor shell pool surrounded by a lovely teak deck, a jacuzzi and a private beach are reasons enough for the inhabitants of this “earth home” to come out of their luxurious crib.Step inside and you will be immersed in a soothing atmosphere: “The interiors are characterized by a strong contrast between concrete surfaces and the warm tones of wood. The furniture and the floor are completely customized, all realized in oak, treated in different shades, and solid too. The kitchen is defined by a long marble top with a dedicated breakfast area and walls covered by oak.” A custom-designed sofa in the living room invites guests to relax and enjoy the lovely bay views, while the dining area beckons for romantic meals. According to the designers, all the five en-suite bedrooms have tailored desks, beds and cabinets. [Photography by Alessandro Gadotti]

 IKEA Launches Wireless Furniture Collection to Eliminate Indoor Cable Mess

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Aiming to help users stay connected at all times, IKEA is to launch a wireless furniture collection with incorporated induction-charging stations. The new range consists of bedside tables, lamps and and desks, each item integrating subtle white charging pads. How does the system work exactly? According to the official press release, the wireless charging pads “use transmitter and receiver coils to generate a magnetic field which induces a voltage in the receiver coil. The voltage can then power a smartphone or recharge its battery simply by resting a phone on the Qi pad. Once placed on the pad, a notification pops up to alert the user the device is charging.”If you are worried that your phone will not be compatible with the new IKEA furniture range, don’t. The majority of smartphones currently being sold on the market come with inbuilt Qi wireless charging (the inductive charging standard). This makes it easy for any phone with this embedded technology to charge from any Qi charging surface. “Through research and home visits, we know that people hate cable mess“, said Jeanette Skjelmose, Ikea business area manager for lighting and wireless charging.”Our new innovative solutions, which integrate wireless charging into home furnishings, will make life at home simpler.” The wireless charging furniture range will be available on IKEA’s website from mid-April. 

 Yarn Factory Converted into Luxurious Home: Loft „Alte Wollgarnfabrik“ in Berlin

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Loft „Alte Wollgarnfabrik“ depicted in the photos below was designed and implemented by Berlin-based BERLINRODEO interior concepts. The project is a transformation of a yarn factory into a luxurious and elegant contemporary home. One of the aspects that make this project special is that it was especially created for the designers themselves (couple Axel Schaefer and Ingo Hoelters, who currently share living spaces with their dachshund Elliot). An original wallpaper with translucent effects is the main focal point in the generously-sized living area, an interior that sets the tone for an inviting apartment with plenty of inspiring details.The color palette in soothing tones of white, beige and brown makes for a harmonious ambiance throughout. We like how the designers kept some of the elements of the old yarn factory (take the brick walls for example) and gave them a refined final look. Crystal chandeliers, a selection of artworks and vivid flower arrangements add up to the joyful and welcoming character of the contemporary loft. Have a look at the images and tell us what you think! [Information provided via e-mail by BERLINRODEO interior concepts; Photos by Adrian Schulz]

 Why Going Back In Time Will Make You A Better Architect

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There is a very long history of past architects whose designs live on today, but are the current world-leading architects living up to those of the past? Image Source: Far HorizonsWe live in a world where it’s an understatement to say that things move fast. We desire and have even come to expect instant efficiency, if not constant entertainment. With the sheer amount of technology waiting at our fingertips at any given moment, it’s not hard to understand why when it comes to creativity, the age of having absolutely everything can make inspiration a bit muddled.For those who love and aspire to contribute to the world of architecture, this is also a common theme. Between the pressure to create beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and still come up with something that’s functional in society, it’s hard to find a place to stand, let alone build.When you come to the place where your passion for architecture starts fading in place of technology and the pressure of global competition— it becomes important to step back for a minute and look to the past. Yes, looking back in time can make you a better architect and can help you rediscover your passion for design. Reminding yourself of what has been gives you a foundation for the future. It’s a necessary pause for every architect to remind themselves of what inspiration in the field truly looks like.This article will take you back in time, so to speak. So, take a break from all your designs for just a moment and reflect upon the real reason that you became an architect—your passion for great design.Do you admire the great architects of the past and reflect their work in your own designs? Image Source: E-ArchitectThe beauty of architecture, and those who create it, is that their work becomes an enduring part of the world everybody lives in. The essence of their creativity lives on in stone and design whether passerby’s realize it or not. It becomes a part of everybody’s scenery and looking back to the greats can be a vital step in remembering where genius really comes from and how it flourishes.Antoni Gaudi is perhaps the best example of extended creativity. As an architect, he wasn’t afraid to mix style in an attempt to revere traditional values. A devout catholic whom one might assume would stick to rigid structure, he instead willingly delved into structures that captured the best of Spanish Late Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau to celebrate the faith he loved.He also didn’t only design for the here and now. In fact, his cathedral titled Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and is so complex, it’s not expected to be finished until approximately 2026.  Take a moment to look back to the great architects of the past for inspiration—there is a reason people travel the world to catch a glimpse of their historic work.Works by Antoni Gaudi are truly forms of art. Image Source: Arch DailyFor some it may be enough to be a good architect, but those who have a true passion for this art will find themselves wondering what it takes to be phenomenal. Great architects leave a mark on the world through their design, and often those designs carry some sort of message.It is possible to put meaning into design in a technology-driven world, it just takes a patience and perseverance that requires dedication. In the world of architecture, this means designing with a message in mind. Before you sit down and begin to draw it out, ask yourself what you want it to convey. When you look back at those great architects of yesterday, can you clearly identify their messages?It may come down to actually writing out your message or design meaning before you even begin to measure lines. Having a concrete idea of what it is your are setting out to say will help your structure growing into a creation that speaks to those who lay eyes upon it. What is it that you are trying to tell the world through your designs?What do you suppose is the message that Gaudi is trying to convey in this amazing architecture that he created? Image Source: WikipediaArchitecture lends itself to aesthetic appeal. Half of the job is creating something beautiful enough to capture the attention of practically everyone. However, the fear and downfall in this is that while it’s possible to create something stunning, it can equally be created in a void of purpose. Is beauty the only purpose of your design, or is there a deeper message that you want top convey?For this reason, it’s important that architects train themselves to be above all, superior communicators. If you cannot look at what you are designing and fluidly state what’s its purpose in the world is, than you cannot expect anyone else to either.The ability to communicate purpose in architecture becomes more important as cities grow, competition in the field increases and pressure to design quickly and efficiently becomes the common demand. In moments where purpose is threatened, it’s imperative that an architect step back, examine what exactly he or she is doing, and be able to clearly articulate that purpose. Once this is established, something truly remarkable can be created.The purpose of architecture is as important as its aesthetic appeal. Image Source: Global Site PlansIf your heart is set on architecture, but you’re struggling to figure out your niche or creative path, never hesitate to ask yourself the important questions. Are you willing to tell your story to the world? Great architects are able to infuse their work with their own passion.What they feel and what they want to say is visible in their design and the purpose is clear. Going into architecture is a test of artistic communication and a willingness to dedicate the time it takes to create something that will eventually be considered timeless.Make sure you’ve asked yourself the right questions before you enter lightly into a world that can quickly decline into design chaos— one that is controlled by technology and instantaneous gratification.The Montezuma Castle in Arizona certainly tells a story of ancient civilizations and how they lived. Image Source: Arizona RuinsOnce you’ve taken the necessary steps to look back to the greats who have come before, examined their messages and determined your own architectural purpose, you’ll be ready to set off on an adventure that could lead you around the globe.Architecture is a unique and stunning field that can be full of inspiration, if only you know where to find it.What is your inspiration for design? Who are the greats that you admire?

 Timeless Copper Corner Residence Blending Traditional Detailing with Modern Simplicity

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On a heavily wooded corner lot in an established neighborhood of Mississauga, Ontario, sits Copper Corner Residence, a timeless home envisioned by David Small Designs. Dark painted wood emphasizes the bold roof-lines, while light-colored stone adds warmth to the façade. And the most outstanding feature, the leaded copper roof, creates character and architectural interest. The leaded copper not only adds aesthetic intrigue to the home, bringing out the charcoal colour of the stone, but plays a functional role as well. It is a highly durable material with an incredible lifespan. As the home ages, the leaded copper will change colour, developing a beautiful silver-gray patina that will deepen over time. This home is a prime example of traditional detailing mixed with modern simplicity.The traditional gabled roofline is executed in a minimalistic way (clean lines, no shutters or brackets). The result is transitional architecture; a design style that merges the warmth and comfort of traditional architecture with the modern ideals of minimalism and open concept living. The elements of the design – the mix of exterior materials (stone, wood, stucco, leaded copper), the rows of windows enveloping the copper corner, the warm colour palette, and the preservation of a significant mature tree stand – work together to perfectly integrate the home with its natural surroundings. [Information provided via e-mail by David Small Designs; Photography by Jason Hartog]

 Contemporary Appearance Camouflaging Brooklyn Roots: Slate Street Townhouse

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Hiding its Brooklyn roots inside a contemporary appearance, the State Street Townhouse by architects and owners Christine and Ben Hansen is an intriguing mix of old and new. This family crib in New York, USA, inspires openness and light throughout, as well as a great connection to the outdoors. The backyard, complete with swings and barbecue area contributes to a healthy and relaxing lifestyle. Step inside and you will be greeted by charming interiors, filled with color and character.According to the architects, the custom kitchen, “complete with Flavor Paper wallpaper, feels traditionally modern while retaining a bit of Brooklyn grit. Upstairs, the couple and their three children share two bedrooms with a connecting Jack and Jill bathroom, creating a fun open plan to contain them for years to come. The bedroom level is filled with natural light from huge steel windows, and leads up to a scenic green roof that stores rainwater and nourishes the garden.” The design scheme for this Brooklyn home includes texture variety, original lighting units and surprising pops of color. Enjoy the virtual tour! [Photography by Francis Dzikowski]

 Refined Contemporary Design: Self-Supporting Spiral Staircases by Rizzi Studio

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In creating these cement spiral staircases, Rizzi Studio combines a sophisticated design with a perfect technical core. Each of the projects acts as a connection between storeys, enhancing the value of the settings and accommodating the requirements of contemporary living. The self-supporting staircase winds around itself according to the available space in a harmonious upward crescendo to become a fundamental element of interior design as well as a functional feature. Individual prefabricated modules are put together to form self-supporting staircases, with 11 standard diameters of between 125 cm and a maximum of 300 cm, to offer fully customizable projects according to the finishes of the intended surroundings.The logic behind the installation of Rizzi’s reinforced concrete spiral staircases drastically reduces installation times: individual unrefined steps are shipped and subsequently assembled directly on site. They include the tread, the riser and at either end the stringer which, when assembly has been completed, will form two spiral stringer boards notched to accommodate the reinforcement connecting the starting storey to the landing. The treads and risers can also be clad with wood, stainless steel, ceramic, marble and resin. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Rizzi Studio] 

 Smart Shelter in Spain Evoking A Breathable Lifestyle

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When time spent with family and friends becomes a priority, you also take into account the place you would like that to happen. This is where the smart refuge comes in. El Refugio Inteligente was imagined by NOEM as a functional space easily and automatically controlled from the owner’s mobile device. The blessed owners having been dreaming to build a small refuge in the ??Serra Espadà mountains of Spain. Working with Spanish studio NOEM ( the name comes from “No Emission”) opened their eyes to the possibility of enjoying an energy efficient leisure home where everyone they love is welcomed.Using prefabricated wooden modules to erect the refuge fast and efficient was key. Adding the swimming pool, barbecue and toilet extends the versatility and encourages a natural, conscious lifestyle. According to the architects, “Its S-SE orientation maximizes thermal comfort in winter and the abundance of sunscreens also ensures summer enjoyment. The architectural design stands out for its simplicity and for a metal frame which marks out the covered areas and provides the appropriate level of design. It is an area defined to cater for all the customs and habits of the occupants,with maximum accessibility and with openings which permit a privileged view.?”Photos by Meritxell Arjalaguer show the interiors and surroundings, both during and after construction. For a time lapse of the construction, check the video below. It would be amazing if you let us know what you think about this smart shelter or if you’ve seen anything better you’d like to share.El Refugi – Time Lapse – NOEM Go from NOEM on Vimeo…

 girl nursery room

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Contemporary bedrooms are all about a neutral color scheme that is accentuated by pops of color in an elegant fashion. These colorful additions can be often swapped out with ease to alter the appeal of the room and its color palette with changing trends and seasons. While blue is touted as the most popular hue in the bedroom irrespective of style and season, green is the ‘chosen one’ for those who want to bring a hint of natural goodness indoors. Relaxing, elegant, bright and refreshing, it is a pleasant hue that comes in diverse shades ranging from the brilliant jewel-toned emerald to more subtle and modest minty greens.

 storage cube ottoman with tray

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With infinite combinations and practical applications, the Montana System is a late 20th century classic. Peter J. Lassen established Danish company Montana Møbler A/S in 1982 and designed its extremely efficient shelving system. Comprised of 36 basic modules in four depths, the system includes shelves, doors, drawers, trays and lighting. With infinite combinations and practical applications, the Montana System is a late 20th century classic. Peter J. Lassen established Danish company Montana Møbler A/S in 1982 and designed its extremely efficient shelving system. Comprised of 36 basic modules in four depths, the system includes shelves, doors, drawers, trays and lighting.

 Minimalist Bathroom Sink With an Almost Surreal Appearance: Kub Basin

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This minimalist bathroom sink captured our attention with its almost surreal look. The master-mind behind the futuristic bathroom item is Bulgarian designer Victor Vasilev, who studied architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark, and currently lives in Milan, Italy. His portfolio reveals a modern-minimalist approach, with each design having its own twist.
Unlike other sleek bathroom sinks we published on our site, this project takes away anything that might be considered an excess. Yet, it adds an elegant carrara marble stone, employed to enhance the product’s visual appeal. An interesting junction of geometric shapes occurs, which seems to be the basis of the design concept. Kub Basin comes with faucets and fittings, their subtle presence being a perfect match for the glass sink. The project is also available in a highly intriguing version for two. The carrara stone can be cleverly used as storage space, blending its aesthetics with a high dose of function…

 Small Japanese Home Exhibiting an Intriguing Wooden Facade: Checkered House

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Checkered House by Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office is an urban residence made almost entirely out of wood, a material less and less used for building houses in Japan; “I thought about designing a wooden house in the city considering disaster prevention and maintenance looking at the positive aspect of wood such as the soft texture which Japanese traditional houses use to have“, the architect stated. This unconventional Tokyo building catches your eye from far away, due to its large overhang and playful checkered facade in glass and wood.
Here is more from the official description provided by the project developers: “This house has a Japanese traditional under the eaves space overhanging the roof from 1.35m to 2.85m of the parking space facing the north side road. This under the eaves space and the fire wall on both sides enables to use affordable wood material and wooden window frame even in the high density area. The checkered window allows to take in light from regular height, near the ceiling and near the floor and also take in stable light from the north side during the day time.” The photos below reveal how the windows are ingeniously used as a shelving system inside the house. What do you think of this approach? [Photography: Koichi Torimura]

 vintage wingback chairs

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Painting the walls might be the easiest way to add green to the bedroom along with bedding and accessories in matching hue, but think beyond the obvious if you want a truly captivating room. Painting the ceiling in green can be a fun alternative and by leaving the walls white, you will still have a neutral and versatile backdrop that will beautifully showcase wall art and sculptural décor additions. And for those who really want a personalized solution, mixing different shades to come with your own custom green hue is indeed an exciting and enjoyable alternative. This will assure that you are proud owner of a one-of-a-kind bedroom with a shade of green that you came up with.

 timber panel door

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The Stacked system was designed by Julien De Smedt for Muuto. Held together using small clips, Stacked comprises modules of varied sizes that are arranged to create many different storage solutions and set-ups. The 835 Infinito modular bookcase was designed by Franco Albini for Cassina. Comprised of vertical elements, containers with doors or flaps and shelves in two depths, Infinito is an expression of possibilities that are designed to bring order to a space. Randomito from MDF Italia is a single unit hanging bookcase (available in white, orange, sand and green) that can also be turned upside down. Combining units provides a larger configuration with a striking visual impact.

 residential indoor basketball court

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The terms ‘contemporary’ and ‘modern’ are often used interchangeably when describing design. It’s a common faux pas and one of which this writer is certainly guilty. In design lexicon the two words have contrasting and quite distinct meanings. Describing their difference at a somewhat rudimentary level: contemporary makes reference to the present-day – that which is current and of the time – whereas modern alludes to the past, specifically that of Modernism (post the First World War) and mid-20th century modern design and architecture.

 modern fire screen

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West Elm Modern Weave Tall Lidded Storage works as a great side table with plenty of storage inside. HomePop Upholstered Decorative Storage Ottoman at wayfair.com hides blankets, magazines or anything else. SAIC Cache Storage Cabinet at cb2.com could serve as a bar; simply slide out the shelved unit to access drinks and barware. CB2 Peek Shelf with Mirror hides clutter behind a mirrored panel. West Elm Industrial Storage Coffee Table opens to reveal storage under the surface. Container Store Large Poppin Accessory Trays are useful when stacked to store papers, remote controls and other small items. Designer Pet Products Designer Catbox Litter Box Enclosure at overstock.com hides your kitty’s litter box inside a furniture chest. Great Useful Stuff Eco-Friendly Bamboo Multi-Device Charging Station and Dock at amazon.com hides cables and organizes all of your devices neatly in one place.

 contemporary modern chandeliers

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Apaiser is a great source for luxury round stone tubs, such as the Eclipse Stone Bathtub shown below. In fact, Apaiser tubs are perfect for spaces that showcase building materials such as stone and tile. Soft edges are a highlight of this piece, and it’s also available in a range of hues and materials. Keep in mind that when it comes to the modern powder room, a round tub has the power to soften the bold lines of the space. Yet you don’t have to play it safe with the bathtub, as shown below by a bold selection in black, a Caroma product purchased from Reece.

 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting In The Home Buying Process

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Who wouldn’t want to come home to this?  Image Via: Markay Johnson Construction
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of putting your keys in the door at the end of the long day and knowing that the property belongs to you. Homeownership affords you the ability to completely customize a home to fit your needs and personal style, all while building equity. Who could blame you for wanting to buy as soon as possible?
But while the idea of buying a property is a very attractive proposition, it’s also sizable commitment. When done at the right time and for the right reasons, the benefits of owning a home far outweigh the risks. But, if you’re not ready, that purchase could have serous consequences for your lifestyle and finances. No one likes to think about bankruptcy and foreclosure, but they are an unfortunate reality for many.
How do you know if you’re ready? While nothing is ever a guarantee there are a few simple characteristics that qualified buyers share. Here are 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting In The Home Buying Process. Think long and hard about these questions. Do a little research and, if you feel comfortable with your answers, take the next step in reaching out to a real estate professional. You’ll be holding the keys to a property in no time at all.
Look at your finances before checking out listings. Image Via: Laurie Carron Architect, AIA I LEED GA
There’s no hiding your finances once you start the home buying process. As soon as you sign contracts, banks, mortgage companies, title companies, and realtors will be going through your finances with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that you really do have the ability to purchase the property. You don’t want any surprises at that point, so it’s best to take a long, hard look now before you find your dream home. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, here  are some factors that financial institutions look at when they approve a purchase:
If you’re finances aren’t perfect right now, don’t worry. You can always work towards making them better. Do your best to find a stable job and stay there for a few years. Make your credit card and loan payments on time each month and pay as much above the minimum payment as possible. Take a small portion of each paycheck and set it aside to start growing your savings. It may take a bit to see drastic results, but these habits will help your finances grow. 
How much you can pay versus how much you feel comfortable paying is an important decision. Image Via: Sheffield Construction Company, Inc.
When you go to a mortgage company, they will take a look at your financial history, do some calculations, and give you a pre-approval for a certain amount of money. This amount is the maximum that they would feel comfortable loaning to you.That number may look attractive now since it affords you the ability to look at homes in a higher price range.
But remember: That higher price range also comes with a high monthly payment. A high monthly payment is a trade off. In order to make that payment you may have to cut back on incidental spending like going on vacations, going out to eat, and buying the latest tech gadgets. If you don’t want to give up those luxuries, it may be worth it to look in lower your price range to give yourself a little breathing room.
Sit down and take a look at how much you spend each month. Create a home budget that you are comfortable with and play around with the amounts of money allocated for payments versus pleasure. When you find a number that feels comfortable, keep it in mind as a goal when discussing mortgage payments.
Be patient when discussing whose names will go on the deed. Image Via: Rethink Design Studio
At settlement, you will be asked to signed the deed for your new home. It’s a document that transfers the ownership of and financial responsibility for the property from the seller to the buyer. If you are considering buying a property with another person – whether they are a parent, spouse, or friend – you should have a discussion about whose name(s) will go on the deed before starting your search.
There are many reasons for an unconventional deed. If your income is lower, you may want to ask a parent to be your cosigner, so that you can look in higher price range. In cases where one partner is self-employed, it may be beneficial to have the other person be the sole name on the deed in order to protect your assets if there is ever a lawsuit.
This is unquestionably an emotionally charged and often difficult discussion. Handle it with care and respect the other person’s thoughts and feelings. But, it’s better to get it out of the way now. When mortgage representatives look at how much to pre-approve a buyer for, they only consider the income of the person or persons going on the deed. So, if you are considering an outside-of-the-box signing arrangement, you need to be clear on what it is before you start looking at homes that you may not be able to afford.
Your ideal location is important to consider when thinking of buying. Image Via: Fredendall Building Company
The phrase “Location, location, location” is a cliché for a reason. While you can always remodel an older kitchen, decide to finish a basement, or add on a deck, your home’s location is the one feature that you can’t really change. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to have a solid idea of where you’d like to be before you start looking at listings. Some people may know exactly, but if you don’t, start with this question: Would you be happiest in the city, country, or in the suburbs?
Each area has its pros and cons. City living is great for those looking to enjoy close proximity to shops and restaurants, but price tags tend to be high for comparatively little space. A house in the country will give you room to spread out, but you have to be okay with the idea of a long commute to work. The suburbs offer a middle ground, but your surroundings may be less unique.
You don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to one area. Do some googling and research different areas. If you find a couple you like, don’t hesitate to explore them on your day off. Try to picture yourself living there on a day-to-day basis: think about things running errands and how you’d spend your weekends.
Make a list of the home features that are absolutely essential. Image Via: Cornerstone Architects
Brace yourself: We are about to share the most controversial truth in the home buying process. No home will ever be 100% perfect for you. At least not from the moment you sign the deed. Every property is going to come with a certain amount of compromise.
Once you start actively looking at listings, you’ll likely find some homes in your price range and desired location, but that require a little fixing up. Other homes will have all the features you desire, but come with a higher monthly payment. With this in mind, before you even looking at potential properties, it’s important to take stock of the things that are your must-haves. Do you require a certain number of bedrooms? Is it critical to keep your kids in their current school district? Are you absolutely, positively unable to go above a certain monthly payment?
When you sit down with a real estate agent, these factors will give them a good idea of where to start your search. Using these criteria, he or she will be able to weed through all of the available properties on the market and handpick the listings that work for you, which will save you both time and energy.
Use a list of must-have features to determine what you need in a home. Image Via: Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects LLP
Now that you know what you truly need in a home, you can move on to the fun part: your wish list. These are the things that, while they wouldn’t make or break your decision to buy a property, may help you pick one listing over another once you start looking.
Would you like an updated kitchen since you do a lot of cooking and baking? Would it be nice to have a fenced-in yard for your pets? Are you a fan of older homes with tons of charm? When it comes to the items on this list, be flexible.
Keep in mind that while these features would be nice to have from the get-go, since you’re planning on staying in the property for the foreseeable future, you can always add them later on.
Any features that you’d like to avoid are also worth noting. Image Via: Arc Design Group
As important as it is to know what you want in a home, having an idea of what you don’t want can be just as defining. But, as with the features on your must-have list, try to focus on things about the property that cannot be easily altered.
Are you opposed to living on a highly-trafficked road? Do you have reservations about maintaining a pool? Is there a particular neighborhood that you’d prefer to stay away from?
Again, consider these when deciding if you’re ready to buy, but don’t be afraid to be open. It’s okay to have one or two of these characteristics, but if you rack up too many, you may be limiting yourself in terms of possibilities.
Be honest about how much work you’re willing to put into a property. Image Via: SURROUNDS Landscape Architecture + Construction
It’s easy to picture yourself embracing the fun aspects of owning a home: shopping for furniture, hosting parties in your backyard, and enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with having your own space. But, in addition to all those positive qualities, there is also a lot of upkeep. 
Be honest with yourself about how much maintenance you’re able (and willing) to do. That fix-upper may have a lower price initially, but make sure you factor in the cost of repairs. A big lawn sounds like a nice feature, but it also comes along with lots of grass that needs to be cared for. Massive rooms look nice, but rack up even larger heating bills during the colder months.
If enjoy the idea of working on weekend projects, don’t hesitate to scope out an investor special. But, if the idea of dealing with maintenance without calling a landlord scares you, look into buying a condo or town home. 
Before buying, take a few minutes to envision the future. Image Via: Giulietti Schouten Architects
It seems obvious, but bears repeating that home ownership is much more permanent than renting. You can’t just wait for a lease to run out if there are aspects of the property that you don’t like.
With that in mind, you have to focus not only on features that work for you in the present moment, but will also make sense later on down the road. Real estate expert, Michael Corbett, recommends looking at a five-year span of time. Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you think you’ll still be working at the same company? Are you looking towards getting married or growing a family?
You may find that your prospective changes as you answer these questions. While a bustling urban lifestyle might seem ideal right now, that ultra-modern loft will be a lot smaller with a new baby sharing the space. If you’re not sure what your career path will look like in a few years, consider waiting for a while before you put down such permanent roots.
Are you looking for an investment property or your forever home? Image Via: Nicholson Builders
The short answer to this question is, of course, to live in it. But, allow yourself to think a little deeper. Are you looking for a starter home that will enable you to build equity? Could you see yourself investing in the property, fixing it up, and then renting it out for a secondary income? Or, do you intend for this home to be the place where you and your spouse grow old together?
Knowing how you want to use the property will help to focus your eventual home search. If you’re looking for a property that will eventually serve as an investment, aim for a busier area that will appeal to lots of renters. Whereas, you’re aiming for a home that will grow old with you, stick to a size, layout, and location that you can see yourself being happy with for years to come.
The decision to buy a home is not one that should be made lightly. If you’re ready to make the commitment, owning a home has many benefits. But, if you jump into the market too soon, the purchase can leave you with personal and financial heartbreak. As yourself these questions to get a better picture of whether or not you’re ready to take the plunge.
Potential buyers, are there any questions that you want answered? Homeowners, are there any questions you’d like to add?

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