Solidifying what you’re looking for in a home is one of the first and most important steps in the home-buying process. Sometimes, though, it can be difficult differentiating between wants and needs. If you’re having trouble determining your must-haves in a home, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Assess budget first
Before you start making your dream home must-have list, you need to first determine how much home you can actually afford. Knowing your budget gives you a realistic framework, so you can make a must-have list that falls within your financial means.
2. Evaluate special needs
Prioritize non-negotiables before you start forming expectations about what other features your dream home must include. For example, if your home needs to be ADA compliant (wheelchair accessible), one level, or located in a great school district, you should list these things before “pool” or “hardwood floors.” Non-negotiables are factors that are difficult, if not impossible, to change later on and therefore, must be included in your home.
3. Enlist the help of your realtor
Realtors are incredibly knowledgeable about what belongs on a must-have list, so be sure to consult them. Ask them if your current list seems reasonable, what they would recommend adding or subtracting from the list, and so on. Getting an objective, outside perspective can be really helpful as you determine your must-haves in a home!
Every prospective homebuyer is different, so try not to compare your list too much with other friends’ lists. Your needs are uniquely your own and ultimately, only you can decide what you truly need.