This week I met with a couple looking for their first house. They just completed medical school and they were looking for a modest home to raise their two children, that will accommodate them until they retire. They planned to spend about $300,000 on a home, and save as much as possible for retirement. I thought this was an extremely intelligent idea so I put together a list of home features that could accommodate millennials to baby boomers.
The average young family has 2 children and the parents want to sleep on the same level as the children, so 3 bedrooms on one level is a must. Baby-boomers often want separate bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a flex room that can be used as an office or guest room, so 3 bedrooms on one level works for them as well. A master bath and 2nd bath is a must.
Both generations are drawn to open floor plans with the kitchen open to the family room for watching the children or entertaining and a separate sitting room or den. They like a large dining area but not a separate formal dining room. The garage and front door should be on the kitchen/living level with very few stairs to enter the house. This eliminates a tuck under garage. A smaller yard is desirable to save time on yard work, but still provides private outdoor space. A nature view would be great and the house should be on a quiet street, close to parks, trails, schools, shopping, transportation, entertainment, etc.
The most desirable house style would be one level with a walk-out lower level, but that is difficult to find for $300,000. The 2nd best option would be a 3 or 4 level home so you walk in on the main floor and eliminate full flights of stairs to go to bed. My clients decided on a 4-level home.
Some other desirable features are; high ceilings, wood or tile floors, granite countertops, good storage, fireplace, the master suite away from the other bedrooms, 3 car garage, and neutral décor.
Finding the perfect home can take time and patience. An experienced real estate agent can search for the criteria that will meet your long-term needs.
Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.