Wants vs. Needs

From a backyard oasis with a patio and swimming pool to a gourmet kitchen with the most up-to-date appliances, you likely have an idea of what your dream home would look like. It’s true that you shouldn’t settle when buying a home, but it’s important to decide in advance which items on your wish list are “needs” and which are “wants.” Here are a few ways to help you decide:

  • Know your budget: The first step to deciphering what’s feasible on your wish list is to be realistic about what is affordable. Your budget might not allow for a long list of “wants” and a compromise might be needed. I’m happy to help you better understand the local market, compare home prices, and help you determine what is affordable within your budget.
  • Find your “location, location, location”: It’s possible to make changes to a house, but its physical location will always remain the same. You should decide in advance how close you need to live to work, schools or extended family. The location could determine some of the home amenities that will fit in your budget.
  • Determine non-negotiable accommodations: Enough space for everyone in the family is usually a “must-have,” where a “nice-to-have” item might be a spare room for guests. After determining the budget and neighborhood, the most important factor is that everyone living in the home has a comfortable place to stay.
  • Pick a lifestyle fit: After fulfilling the most important needs, you should find out what features of a home will best fit your lifestyle. Is it a kitchen for entertaining or a large backyard for a dog? Those items might take priority over a large master bedroom with walk-in closet.
  • Have a vision: Is your home missing that “must-have” hardwood flooring? That’s something that can be fixed after moving in. Don’t get distracted by decorations, paint or flooring that may not fit your taste. Many items can be changed to better match the image you have in mind for your dream home.

While searching for a home with all the items on your wish list may be fun, it can also be frustrating. That’s why it’s important to sit down and sort out your needs versus wants. After all, having a realistic idea of your dream home is the first step in finding it.

Source/Credit: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage