Tag Archive for: Flex Space

So you’re ready to buy your very first house! While becoming a homeowner is an exciting journey, there’s much to consider and prepare before you actually buy a house. Your life plans, career, finances and preferences in a home will all be factors that affect the kind of house you can buy as well as where you’ll want to live. To help you navigate all these factors, read on to learn about the three most crucial considerations when buying your first home.

Money Matters

Buying a house is no small endeavor, especially when it comes to money. You’ll want to start saving up as early as possible so that you can afford a down payment. However, after that, chances are you’ll need to get a mortgage to pay for this house over time. A common plan of payment is a 30-year fixed mortgage, which holds fixed principal and interest rates, meaning you’ll pay the same amount over the life of the loan (30 years). This is one method of paying off a mortgage, so do your research and discover what works best for you. There are other mortgage options available too such as FHA, VA, among others.

Additionally, you will want to take a close look at your finances, specifically credit and debt, as these factor into your mortgage eligibility and interest rates. When making moves to purchase a house, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve paid down as much debt as possible and that your credit score is the highest it can be. Avoid other large purchases and refrain from switching jobs during the home buying process as well.

Your Future is a Long-Term Game

Your future plans should be taken into account before you buy a house, as you’ll likely live in this house until your mortgage is paid off. Will you need to pay off any past loans, like car payments or student loans? If so, you may want to research or consult a financial planner on how to juggle paying for multiple long-term payments.

Do you want children in the future? Do you think you’ll help pay for your children’s college education? Although that may be years into the future, it’s crucial to consider everything you might possibly be paying for. Many financial aspects like paying off a mortgage or college tuition are a long-term game, so starting a college fund when you decide to have children is a great way to prepare financially for the future. It can be taxing to pay for several significant costs like college tuition and mortgage payments at the same time, as well as any other loans.

Needs Come Before Wants

Next, you’ll want to consider what you need and what you want in a house. Perhaps you need at least three bedrooms or even more if you plan on starting a family. You may need an open concept floor plan with ample room for seating, for example, if you like hosting. If you have a dog or plan on getting one, a backyard is a great asset to have. If you are self-employed, a house with enough room for a home office is necessary, so read our tips on launching a home-based business while moving to a new home.

You will also want to think about where you’ll want to reside. Depending on the state or city, houses will vary in cost. If you want a house in a large city, it’s going to cost more than a house in a very rural area. Explore and research the cost of living in different areas and what will work best for you. Remember the difference between needs and wants, as your very first house might not have everything you dreamt of. Luckily, you can always renovate or add on to your home in the future to make it your perfect home. Maybe flex space is an option for you?


Purchasing your first house is quite an accomplishment, but a lot of preparation and financial planning needs to be done beforehand. By considering these three factors, you set yourself up for a smooth homebuying process.

It’s no mystery the last two years have altered home design in new construction forever, but what remains to be seen is whose tastes will prevail over the next decade or so. The millennial generation, albeit the largest group of homebuyers, are still but a fraction of the whole. What may work for this age group, might not for other generations like X, baby boomers, etc. Since 2020, the emergence of flex space has become popular and has gained traction, notably for those seeking a home on the market.

Flex space is simply an area within a home that’s able to evolve with the needs of its owner. Its essential elements are flexibility, versatility and evolution. These elements are key! Depending on the daily, weekly or yearly needs of a homeowner, how can the home respond? If you ever doubted residences had life within them, disbelieve no more. Flex space breathes more life into homes than we ever could have imagined, but a short while ago. And it goes beyond residential properties and home design. This concept has lived within the confines of commercial real estate for decades, a hybrid of office and industrial space.

What makes flex space within a home attractive though is its ability to alter the interior of the home without changing the structure of it. There are no additions needed, and quite frankly, with distribution channels and contractor timetables the way they are for the foreseeable future, this is another longer-term solution available to homeowners looking to upgrade their homes.

It’s important to reinforce, this concept/trend isn’t for everyone. As stated above, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy to new construction nor updates to a home. When flex space is infused into a property there’s a specific intent in mind. Just as a kitchen is the center of many homes and there’s a particular purpose for that space, flex space likewise gives greater meaning to a room. If the room becomes less functional, it ceases to be a flex room and becomes a forgotten space. The room that once served a purpose, might now contain a bed, a computer monitor and about a dozen or more tchotchke items. This is one of the downsides to this concept and the de-evolution of a room, if you will. If it starts to serve little purpose, in the end, it will mirror nothing more than a glorified closet or storage spot.

When it doesn’t include the flexibility, versatility and the ability to evolve, the space will become like any other room in the house, or worst yet – the definition of clutter. Flex space should never be used as a bonus room. Build upon it, yes, but don’t settle there. There is a danger in having a multipurpose room cease to perform as such and resemble a failed attempt to maximize space. While maximizing space and functionality are certainly important when considering flex-ability in the home, significant thought should be given to what’s most important for homeowners and their families. How much time are they spending at home? Are they working from home as well? Having a plan is vital with this design trend, which will remain a permanent expectation for buyers, according to realtor.com’s chief economist, Danielle Hale.

The needs of homeowners in addition to buyers are presently driving design and of course, this trend is an off-shoot of that. There are many ways this concept is flourishing in real estate in 2022, including home offices which double as libraries, playrooms which are also guest rooms or home theaters that morph into family rooms including a wet bar to entertain guests. The absolute best use of flex space in the home though is when we use the three principles of flexibility, versatility and evolution and merge them with technology and home automation. Quite honestly, this is the direction this trend is headed, especially with younger homebuyers. We can identify it as true “flex space.” Joe Wheeler, co-director at the Center for Design Research demonstrates how this trend is evolving and what we can expect in the not-so-distant future:

Flex space is an interesting concept, to say the least. What are your thoughts about this trend and how do you see it playing out in your residence over the next decade or so?