What To Consider When Searching For Your Forever Home

*Post in partnership with Nottingham Building Society

GARDEN TRADING COMPANY

Today I’m partnering with Nottingham Building Society to talk about all things “Forever Home” in conjunction with their latest campaign to help people understand what to look for when choosing the home they want to grow old in.

A part of the campaign includes an interactive online quiz, which tells you the kind of forever home you need based on your interests and personality. The funny thing is, although they’ve partnered with a number of influencers for this campaign, when I took the test myself, I chose my own home! I’ve obviously got exactly what I’m looking for here in Apartment Number 4, with the results revealing that I need:

“A sanctuary hidden away in the city hustle and bustle – You need to choose a Forever Home that has the perfect balance of space for you to relax and your ‘me time’, but is located somewhere with a strong sense of community. Take inspiration from Monica and Rachel’s American style apartment by choosing a city apartment with large bedrooms, spacious living areas and a balcony – giving you the feeling of being right in the centre of the excitement whilst being able to retreat when you need to.”

Erm, hello? Is that not describing my home down to a tee?

When it comes to thinking about your Forever Home, what would you say is your milestone moment? Is it getting married and sharing it with your significant other? Or perhaps paying off the mortgage completely? Raising a family there? Buying a pet?

For me, it’s about putting my own stamp on the property. The dream is to buy a house that needs work doing to it and for me to put my own Californian-feminine touch to it. I’ve spoken previously about what my dream home would include (including a pool and a pantry), but today I wanted to share some of the things to consider when searching for, what you plan to be, your Forever Home.

Is there room to grow?

Whether you plan on having a family, or extending your family further with children, pets or even elderly relatives, consider if there is room to grow within your potential forever home. Is there space for an extension if needed, or even planning permission to extend into the loft? Although you have an office now, can that easily be converted into a bedroom if your family was to grow? If the property is listed making these changes can be near impossible sometimes, so do your due diligence first.

WiFi + phone coverage

This might not be something you consider until it’s too late – I’ve seen so many people complain about this on social media – but checking internet and phone coverage in the area you want to move into should be a priority, especially if you run an online business and need a fast provider.

Most brands will tell you what coverage you can expect in the area you’re looking at before you move so it’s definitely worth checking instead of having to dash to Costa every time you want to check and see if you a new follower on Instagram.

What are the local schools like?

Although you might be considering schools at this point, if you’re planning on making this your Forever Home, understanding what the local schools are like in your catchment area might be worth an afternoon of research.

I know a handful of families that have moved houses soon after settling in what they thought was their Forever Home, purely to secure the right school for their children – which is time, expense and stress that no-one needs.

Is it energy efficient?

Making sure your forever home is energy efficient should be one of your top priorities. Are the walls insulated? Do the windows need replacing at all? Perhaps check for air leaks outside the home. These are all things that can be sorted relatively easily, and the property’s energy efficiency will be highlighted when you go for a viewing.

Parking

We’ve all watched programmes on TV showing how parking wars can escalate. When you’re moving, parking, especially if you have more than one family car and will be welcoming guests on a regular basis, needs to be on your list of must-checks.

In my current property, there is a constant tug of war over parking spaces, and to be frank, it’s a stressful situation and not something I considered when moving in. If your potential Forever Home has a drive, fantastic, but check what street parking is like at different times throughout the day. It may seem quiet on a Saturday afternoon when you go for a viewing but a completely different story on a Monday evening.

Over on Nottingham Building Society, you’ll find tips and advice I’ve put together on decorating your Forever Home and what to consider when you first move in. Have you moved into your Forever Home yet? What were your specifics on your house search – natural light? Large spaces to entertain? Garden? Let me know in the comments below.

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