Real estate markets continually change, but patterns do arise over time. Identifying and observing these trends can help you when it comes time to purchase your next home. However, it is important not to just focus on what is needed in a new home today- but rather for your future wants and needs as well.

SPACE – Typically a home needs to accommodate more than just one person’s needs. Different things are needed for a growing family as opposed to empty-nesters. Nowadays there are multiple generations needing to live under one roof. Keep in mind requirements for bedrooms and bathrooms for your family. While younger children might be fine sharing bedrooms, teens will likely want more space of their own. Aging parents or grandparents may need a room located on a ground floor. Other shared spaces such as living and dining rooms will also need to be large enough to accommodate everyone. Another key room to remember is the home office. With more people working from home, this space is becoming a hot commodity for many families—needing not just one but two home offices. Try to look several years into the future when deciding how much space you may ultimately need.

LOCATION – Where the home is located is also incredibly important when considering your family’s future. While you might like a certain neighborhood today, neighborhoods can change overtime. With the affordability of owning a home in Pittsburgh, there are many new neighborhoods and plans being built in different parts of the region. More neighbors can lead to excessive traffic, but it can also mean more convenience in terms of nearby shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Short commutes to work, schools or colleges, or even downtown can help make one neighborhood a better long-term choice for your family. New construction projects can raise property values in some neighborhoods, so observing a variety of potential locations can help you give a better selection of choice when the day comes to finally start looking for a new home.

EXTRAS – While there are many practical needs that must be met by any new home purchase, there are probably many “nice to have” items as well. Large backyards can be helpful if you have pets or want the kids to have a place to play outdoors. Expansive kitchens can make eating and dining at home more enjoyable. A few extra bedrooms can make your home the perfect spot for family gatherings. Patios, game rooms, and home theaters can also add quality of life to your family.

Although life can be unpredictable, and no one really knows for sure where they will be in the next five years. But taking an honest look towards the future can help us better understand what we may want or need tomorrow. Having an idea of what you are looking for will help you focus on the homes that are right for your family not just today but in the future as well.