According to a 2015 article by NOLA, a media group in New Orleans, “About half of U.S. homeowners have been in their home for at least 10 years, and one-fourth has been in their home 20 years.”
If you’re committing to a new home for decades, it’s important to purchase based on your current and future quality of life -- not only superficialities like energy efficiency or potential additions and upgrades. You should find a new home that helps you thrive mentally, physically, and socially. Here’s how:
Go green. According to the study Urban Street Trees: 22 Benefits, people who live in homes that have tree-lined landscapes or commanding views of natural surroundings tend to have lower levels of stress.
Other studies have also linked natural views to improvement in concentration, air quality, and life expectancy. In fact, adults who live in the greenest urban areas are three times more likely to live a healthier lifestyle, according to Real Estate Smart: The New Home Buying Guide.
What To Do: When going on model home tours, look out for adequate natural lighting, especially in the new kitchen where people tend to spend the most time.
You can also check amenities that help physical health. At Brunswick Crossing, we offer more than 25 miles of paved trails and walkways, tot lots and playgrounds, sports courts and fields, and more. We’re also near the Appalachian Mountains and Potomac River, where our neighbors often bike, boat, and kayak.
Talk open concept. Studies have noted a greater connectedness among family members who live with fewer walls separating them, as well as greater control over the information their children are consuming, Matt Parker, a sales associate with Keller Williams Realty in Seattle, said.
What To Do: When visiting model homes, inquire about which come with open floor plans to increase family bonding. At Brunswick Crossing, our single-family models like Ryan Homes Landon and Rome, have beautiful open concept designs.
Test your commute. About one-third of people with a daily commute of at least 90 minutes experience chronic neck and back problems, and the number of miles logged may be the single biggest factor related to obesity, according to the study The Link Between Obesity And The Built Environment.
What To Do: Literally test drive your commute, if you can. By outlining a workday in your prospective new home, you can get a clear understanding of how it’ll affect your relationships at home and personal happiness.
For example, if your commute takes 90 minutes from your prospective home, you’ll likely be grumpy when you wake up and when you come home. It also begs questions like, how much time can you spend with your kids before school? Can you take them to after-school activities? Will date night be reserved for weekends only? Can you take your dog for a walk before commuting?
Stay social. Highly social people are less likely to catch a cold, according to a study from the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Their research found that extroverts have the highest level of immune-system functioning.
Also, research from the journal Mind, Mood & Memory shows that connecting with others helps improve your mood and fight off depression, especially in person. Research from the University of Chicago also found those who are more social experience less nighttime restlessness and disruptions.
Lastly, whether they boost productivity through workday lunches or buffer stress, friends help people live 50 percent longer than those who are socially isolated, according to a study from Brigham Young University.
What To Do: When it comes to finding a forever home, consider how social it’ll help your family become. These mental and physical benefits are second to none, so find a home with HOA events or near a bustling town.
You can also research activities for your kids, too. Think about local sports teams, arts and music classes, technology clubs, religious organizations, and non-profit volunteering like animal shelters or soup kitchens. In Brunswick, Maryland, we have tons of things for your children to get involved in.
When you look at buying a new home this way, fancy appliances don’t seem like the top priority anymore. While you shouldn’t shelve those wants, you should put more thought into your new quality of life before you buy: