Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...

You’re ready. You’ve talked to a mortgage broker and been pre-approved. Now you can find your dream home. What does that mean to you though? Well, that all depends upon where you are at in life.

For those that have decided to take the real estate plunge in their 20s, factors to consider are varied. Odds are that you have less money for a down payment, so a smaller home is in the cards. The good news though is that with so many young people waiting to start a family, less bedrooms are usually needed. A fixer-upper might be a potential too, as you can get more house for your dollar, if you have the time and know-how of how to do it. Without those little people under foot, your priorities are more focused on yourself, therefore your wish list might include being closer to restaurants, public transportation or hot spots for night life.

As you enter your 30s, life tends to change your priorities. The introduction of children often equates to needing a home with more bedrooms. Proximity to schools and play grounds becomes a factor as well. Kid gear tends to take up plenty of space too, so a playroom is handy, as is a spacious backyard for sand boxes, climbers and room to kick a ball.

By the time you enter your 40s, home essentials change again. Your children tend to be older, so it is high schools that you are looking for in the vicinity. Night life probably looks more like driving your teens to dances and maybe getting the occasional night out to the movies or theatre, if you are lucky. You might have more time for gardens or home renos. Or maybe less, if you are active in the PTA or participate in kids sports teams. As childbirth rates drop off, the odds of needing any more bedrooms is generally smaller though.

When your 50s arrive, life enters a new phase again. Children have grown into young adults wanting to start their own lives. Welcome to the empty nest era and a time to think about down sizing. New aches and pains might be materializing, leading you to reconsider all those stairs in your existing home. You might have older parents that are requiring more care as well. Perhaps a granny flat is a consideration? And with the kids flown the coop, a night life becomes more available again, although 3am evenings are probably pretty scarce.

Folks in their 60s have pretty good odds of looking at relocating. Any children you might have had will have long since moved out (hopefully, anyway). If you have lived in your home for a period of time, odds are that most of the major home renovation projections are done, but lowering energy levels make that a good thing. As retirement approaches, the thought of doing renos yourself is probably pretty slim, so contractors need to be factored in to the price tag. Condos might start to look pretty good at this rate. Odds are that proximity to senior centres and shopping is top of your activity list as well.

Once you are into your 70s and beyond, owning a home becomes less of a priority. Retirement homes mean that you don’t have to worry about the day-to-day upkeep of a home, plus there are generally almost no stairs to have to manoeuvre up and down. That means having to take a hard look at all the stuff you have accumulated over the years and downsize in a BIG way. The nice thing about that though is that you can share all those memories all over again with your  kids. Your real estate agent is probably getting up in years as well, so its time to say goodbye to the real estate market.

As I’m not done yet, you can always contact me to offer advice to you on what you might need in a home though. I’m available, so don’t be shy to call!