We love our home, but not for the reasons you would think. You see, we don't love the inside. The layout, weird closets, and small garage all made us pause.
Yet, it's our dream home. We love it for the lifestyle design. In that, it makes our lives better.
You see, when choosing our house, we considered factors that don't get enough attention. Those little variables that make a HUGE impact on your overall life satisfaction. Despite popular opinion, they are much more important than whether the walls are brown or blue.
Live Close to Work
First, we looked for homes that would be twenty minutes or less from work. While driving forty minutes each way is fine for some people, it's not for us. Time in the car steals it from your day. That forty-minute commute equals 6.7 hours a week. That's time we could be with our kids, working out, or building our futures. If you have the chance to cut the commute, take it!
Live Close to Schools
Second, we looked for schools that were within walking distance from the house. We want to be able to walk or ride bikes often and engineer it so our kids do too. We were able to find a home that was in easy walking distance to all three schools our kids will attend. Therefore, automatically building a healthy lifestyle plan.
Seek Out Nature
Nature is good for the soul. It boosts your mood and gives instant stress relief. And we longed for a home that had trees and beauty around it. But, in the middle of a big city, that's hard to find (not impossible though!) Our dream home has access to a trail, neighborhood park, and a little patch of wilderness.
A Friendly Neighborhood
Our old neighboorhood was nice enough. We waved and said hi. But we lived there for seven years, and never truly got to know our neighbors. Yet, within months of moving into the new home, we had build lasting friendships with the people that lived around us. It was a completely different environment and has a much greater community feel. In fact, we're so happy, that it's hard to move away even if we wanted to. When looking at new homes, be sure to drive around and get a feel for the neighborhood. Then, (if they have one) peruse their HOA to see if they get together.
While interiors and exteriors are obviously important, don't forget the long term effects of living in a new place. Is it friendly? Do you have easy access to good schools, nature, or work?
Instead of thinking "how big?" try thinking in terms of "how happy will this house make me in a decade?"
It's worth the ask, I promise.
Jenn at healthyhappyimpactful.com