The special features of a home can produce emotional stimulation that may cause you to instantly fall in love with a particular home. It's never just the size of a room that catches your eye. It's the caring details put into a home that transform it into a dream. Perhaps it's the crown molding encasing the home in elegance, the built-in work bench in the garage or even the inviting front porch beckoning you to relax, a rarity in so many areas. Regardless of the feature that appeals to you, be sure to see beyond your favorite feature.


The primary purpose of a fireplace is, of course, to warm a room. But a fireplace is usually much more than a simple warming element. The character it adds to a home can be quite significant. From simple brick fireplaces to elegant works of art, a fireplace brings family together. Of course, these days the living room is not the only place a fireplace may grace.

The master bedrooms of many homes now come outfitted with their very own fireplace. It offers you additional opportunities of relaxation. Whether you curl up next to it with a good book or warm hands on a cold night, it will definitely please.

There are many different types of fireplaces but the two primary are wood-burning and gas. Generally, wood-burning fireplaces have more character and are reminiscent of late night campfires. Many people prefer wood-burning fireplaces, however, they tend to require more upkeep and in some areas of California they have been banned due to the air quality. If you live in an area where wood-burning fireplaces are banned an alternative is a gas burning fireplace.

Gas burning fireplaces are easy to maintain, don't increase pollution and can be installed almost anywhere in your home. At the flip of a switch you'll have the fire burning and warming your home. These are certainly becoming a popular choice for people who do not enjoy the weekly cleaning of a wood fireplace but do enjoy the ambiance and warmth a fire creates.

During your home search take into consideration the laws in your area regarding wood-burning fireplaces.

How Do You Use Your Garage?

The traditional purpose of your garage is to house your vehicle, protecting it from harsh weather. However, your garage can be the center of your hobbies and other special interests. It may also play the role of the storage center for gardening supplies, sporting equipment and holiday decorations. Purchase a home with a garage allowing additional space to accommodate the activities in which you participate. If you only own one vehicle, a two car garage may suffice. If you own two, a three car garage may do the trick.

The Outdoors

The outside look and feel of a home will play an integral role in your home buying experience as well. From the yard to the garden to the pool, it is a place to sit back, relax and breathe fresh air after a days work. Your outdoor needs will differ depending on your lifestyle. If you love the outdoors there's probably a good chance you want a big backyard with a gorgeous landscape. You may be content with the previous owner's idea of beauty or you may wish to dream up your very own design. Still others don't care for the maintenance issues that go along with a beautiful landscape. Or perhaps you dream of having a pool or a built-in-barbeque for summer fun. Whatever your heart desires you'll need to prepare yourself for the cost to maintain these luxuries.

Cooling Off Without the Expensive Bill

A home with a whole house fan (sometimes referred to as attic fans) will be easier on your wallet during boiling summer months. By sucking cooler air from the outside through windows and doors your home will be efficiently and quickly cooled. Most homes do not come equipped with whole house fans but they are fairly inexpensive to purchase and install. Generally, whole house fans range in cost from $100.00 to $350.00, not including the installation. They can be used as the exclusive method to cool your home or simply to reduce the use of air conditioning. Either way you're wallet will feel relief over years to come.

Do You Need to be Near Schools?

If you have children chances are you'll need to live near schools. If you prefer your children attend a specific school you may even need to live in a specific city or neighborhood. During your home search be sure to decide the importance of living near schools compared to your other needs. If you're moving to the CITY1 area and are unfamiliar with the school system compare schools to discover details such as test scores and teacher and student stats.

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