How to Choose Your Next Home
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How to Choose Your Next Home


I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. Over the break, we packed up our family home of over 20 years and relocated further uptown. My family and I spent two months scouring different neighborhoods, comparing contrasting building styles and analyzing floor-plans. I also took the time to map out furniture flow in different units to see what living in the space might feel like energetically – as well as what pieces would actually fit!

Despite the many moving parts and intense logistics, relocating presents a wonderful opportunity to de-clutter and refine our living spaces. Exploring the possibility of relocating to a new apartment or home? From my recent experience, the following considerations proved exceedingly helpful:

Ask the Right Questions

For renters: What is the penalty if I leave early? What are the sublet guidelines? When does my lease end? How many visitors am I permitted to have at a time? Have I seen the exact unit I am considering, and not just the showroom? Don’t ever hesitate to ask as many questions as you need to. The more you know about the unit you are looking into, the more informed and up-to-date your final decision will be. For purchasers: Can I see myself living here for the next 5 years? 10 years? Will my physical requirements change during this time? Is it a sound financial investment? Can I afford the mortgage repayments?

Explore the Neighborhood

Take a stroll throughout the neighborhood of your liking and see how you feel walking through it. Ask for tips and recommendations about where to and what to see. Before moving anywhere, always do an online neighborhood check on the crime stats. And take a walk at night! Does it feel safe?

Take Your Time

There are many things to inspect in an apartment before signing on the dotted line. The recommended amount of time needed to choose an apartment in New York City is ideally 30-60 days. So, make sure to scope out information on all units/buildings, keep your options open, and only sign a lease or purchase agreement when you are 100% sure and ready.

Be Able to Walk Away

The best negotiators are always willing to walk away. If you don’t get a good deal, don’t settle and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you feel like something is off, you can always take a step back and consider your other choices. Remember that feeling trapped by an unseemly agreement is no laughing matter, and it is never too late to hit the road. Always trust your gut!

Consider Design Elements

How well designed is the new space? When were appliances installed or last replaced? Is the layout logical? Does energy flow naturally, or do you feel blockages in certain parts of the home? Is the apartment “turn-key” or will there be hidden renovation costs? If so, what is the estimated renovation cost? Consulting with an interior designer before signing on the dotted line can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Remember, we’re here to help!

It's important to remember that ALL change can bring good, even though the process can be very uncomfortable. Happy house-hunting!

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Julie Schuster Design Studio

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