Wants vs. Needs: Balancing Your Homebuying Checklist
When you’re in the process of buying a new home, or you’re just considering it, it’s easy to start with a wish-list that includes just about everything. Your list may seem like it’s a mile long, and that’s normal. We all want that perfect home, but when it’s time to start your search, there will undoubtedly be areas where you have to sacrifice.
Why Do You Need a List to Buy a Home?
It’s a good idea to have your wish-list broken down into must-haves and then nice-to-haves. If you have a list of features you definitely need, it will help you streamline your search. As you start researching available homes, it’ll be easy to eliminate the ones that don’t meet your needs. Then, from there, you can narrow your options down based on your wish-list items.
Being a prepared buyer and breaking down your home-buying checklist before you ever start your actual search is going to help you be empowered and make a good choice for your needs, rather than buying only on emotion.
The following are a few tips to help you create the perfect home buying checklist that will give you a nice balance between wants and needs.
Make Your Dream Home Your Starting Point
If you can start by envisioning your dream home, or maybe even locating what you would view as that perfect property, you can start to build a list that’s more realistic for your budget. Think about what it is in that home that you love so much. What are the core features you find most compelling?
Maybe it’s the location so you can shorten your commute or an extra bedroom for overnight guests.
Whatever it is, use those features that you love the most as your must-haves.
Consider your current home, as well. Is there anything you love about it? Things that make your life better? What about the things you hate about it? The things you hate will serve as deal breakers for the properties you consider.
Think About Value
When it comes to a home-buying checklist, while it might be nice to focus primarily on the fun aesthetics if you want to make a good financial decision you need to look at value-creating elements of a home first.
Maybe a home looks beautiful, but it doesn’t have certain features that increase the value. If so, it might not be the best fit.
Consider the Future
If you find a home that has good value-creating features and a strong location, let’s say, think forward to the future. Would you be able to make reasonable changes that would then make it even more in-line with your dream home? When you’re buying a home, you can’t just think about the present—it’s important to think long-term.
How much would the changes you want cost? Would they, possibly in the future, be an option for you?
If you love the location of a home, for example, but hate the kitchen, the home can still be a possibility, but maybe not vice versa.