Jenny Mendez Isenburg | Boston Real Estate, Brookline Real Estate, Natick Real Estate


It’s not always easy to move up to that dream home. Finding that special place that meets all your needs AND fulfills all your desires requires clarity on your part and diligence on the part of your real estate professional. After all, if you don’t know what you both need and what you want, your agent certainly won’t know what to look for.

The “I’ll know it when I see it” concept of house-hunting is rarely fruitful unless you define “it” clearly.

Make a list

Grab a notebook or use your smartphone to keep a list of what you need and what you want. The list will grow and even change over time, so keep the notebook with you. You'll find inspiration in something you see on the television while you wait in the dentist's office, and you need to write it down immediately.

Take a shot

You’ll walk through a store display and see "just the thing" that goes with the design in your head. Snap a picture of what you like with your phone so you have it on hand. 

If while walking through an open house, a certain style connects with you, but you don’t know how to describe it, take a photo so you can show your agent. Even if that house doesn’t have ALL the things you want, some house might.

Have an open mind

If a property has most of what you want, be open to the possibility of a limited renovation to get the rest. The important thing is its bones; it’s basic structure. Some designs lend themselves to easy add-ons, but most don’t, so if the home you choose has a complicated roofline, make sure it also has the room inside to make your layout changes since adding on is more difficult. On the other hand, simple structures such as ranch-style or mid-century modern might more easily accommodate the addition you envision.

Keep options open

Consider pairing up a renovation contractor with your real estate agent to determine if your changes work with an available listing. Similar to what you see on home-buying television shows, getting a contractor’s expert eye on the property could mean the difference between finding the home with the right structure or missing out entirely getting what you really want.

Find out if your agent can suggest a reputable contractor or find one through a friend or verified listing service. Even if your dream home isn’t already out there … it can be.