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Hi! Welcome back to our guide on How to Buy a Home! My name is Tom Leber with Homeward Real Estate’s Full Sale Team. Now that you have derived a basic budget, reviewed your credit profile & and set up a savings plan the next set of steps will allow you to start specifically identifying the neighborhoods and homes that fit your criteria. This episode discusses determining your “wants” and “needs” in your new home.
The objective of this is to create an identifiable list of data driven criteria for you and your Realtor to utilize in searching for the perfect home solution. Remember that one of the reasons to work with an experienced Realtor in your search is that we are dedicated toward both finding the house that best fits your specific criteria, but have also experienced how other families have found solutions to their objectives in a wide array of circumstances.
Determining your “wants” and your “must have needs” is a crucial step in finding the right home that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Here’s a guide to help you distinguish between the two and prioritize your criteria:
Create a List:
Start by making a list of features and characteristics you’d like in your new home.
Categorize the list into “wants” and “needs.”
Identify essential factors that are non-negotiable. These are your “needs.”
Consider factors like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and location. These are typically fundamental to your lifestyle and comfort.
Once you have your list of “needs” identified, prioritize your list of “wants” based on importance.
Differentiate between features that would be nice to have and those that are crucial for your satisfaction. Take into consideration the interests, hobbies and life stages of all of your family members (including any “fur babies” and other pets.
Evaluate your budget realistically and understand the financial limitations.
Ensure that your “needs” are accommodated within your budget, and be willing to compromise on certain “wants” that may be nice to have if necessary.
Consider Future Needs:
Anticipate your future needs, especially if you plan to stay in the home for an extended period.
Think about factors such as potential family growth, home office space, or accessibility for aging family members. That 3rd or 4th bedroom may be a home office or guest room today, but might eventually be essential as a nursery or in-law suite in the near future.
Evaluate Lifestyle Preferences:
Consider your lifestyle and preferences. For example, if you enjoy entertaining, a spacious kitchen and living area might be a priority. Evaluate how the home’s features align with your daily routine and activities.
Include aspects such as the characteristics of a yard, open floor plans and garage space. One of the interesting aspects resulting from the pandemic was that completely open floor plans started to loose value due to family member’s increased needs for privacy.
Assess the importance of the location of your next home. Proximity to work, schools, and public transportation may be critical factors. Consider a community’s safety, walkability, proximity to shopping and amenities like community pools and parks.
Energy Efficiency and Maintenance:
Think about long-term costs and sustainability. Features like energy-efficient appliances and good insulation can contribute to lower utility bills.
Evaluate your maintenance requirements of the property. You may be skilled in renovation which could lead to more opportunities with older homes, or your lifestyle might not allow time for even basic lawn maintenance. You will need to be prepared for the immediate timeframe to move as well as the future upkeep of the home.
Visit Open Houses and Peruse Listings for Ideas
Attend open houses and peruse listings of homes meeting most of your criteria, even if they aren’t in your preferred location. This will provide a better feeling for different properties and to better understand your preferences. Take notes on what you like and dislike about each home you visit or are interested in and share those observations with your Realtor.
Reassess and Revise:
Periodically reassess your list as you gain more insights during your home search.
Be open to revising your priorities based on your experiences and changing circumstances.
Remember that compromise may be necessary, especially if your budget is limited.
Balancing your wants and needs is key to finding a home that meets your requirements while staying within your financial means.
Seminole Heights Living