Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Wife, Happy Life

Dave Eggers of San Francisco's own 826 Valencia points out that happy families are the building blocks of happy neighborhoods, happy communities, happy cities and eventually a happy world.  While your next real estate purchase might not lead to world peace, it can have a huge impact on your domestic bliss (don't judge the pic - our parents think we're adorable, lol).

Before we get married, my fiancĂ©e (Susie) and I have the benefit of a class to guide us through some of the big conversations: how would we balance our finances?  Do we want children, and how many?  What are our priorities going to be, as a couple?  Whether you're caught up in the excitement of a new engagement or celebrating your fiftieth anniversary with a move to a better home, you should discuss your real estate goals with your significant other. Consider the following:
  • What neighborhoods do you want to be in?  Do you like the bustle of city life, or the quiet of a property farther out?  How do you prioritize access to public transportation, shops, nightlife, parks, and other resources?  Do you want a place that's easily walkable, or a place that caters to commuters and roadtrippers?
  • How do you plan to use your home?  Are you attached at the hip, or do you need private spaces like a den, office, or separate bedrooms to enjoy some alone time now and again?  What about the facilities – do you entertain frequently and need a well-appointed kitchen and dining room, or do you enjoy crafts and want to convert a bedroom or even livingroom to a workroom?
  • What does your family look like, and do you expect it to change?  If you're planning on having children, they'll want their own rooms and you'll want to be close to schools and kid-friendly spaces.  Or maybe you've got grown children who have already moved out, but you still want a guest room set up in case they stop by.
Your home should set the stage for an enduring romance between you and your loved one.  Talk to your significant other about how you want that romance to look!