Before you start searching for your new home, it’s important to determine exactly what you’re looking for and how much house you can afford. You may already know about the things you want to have in your home, but do you know about the things you really need? The three most important factors to consider when buying a home are the actual home itself, the location, and your budget.
You’ll save lots of time in your home search by creating a list of your wants and needs. Imagine your dream home and start out by listing all of the features in it. Then give it some thought and qualify those items as either wants or needs. The total cost of your home will depend on different wants and needs and your budget may not allow you to get everything you want. It’s good to start out knowing what you really can and can’t live without.
The things listed as your needs are the absolute essentials for the property. These are the features you can't live without. If a home doesn’t have these items, you won’t even consider it. These are the features that are either very difficult or impossible to change, like the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, lot size, property type (condo, townhouse, single family home), and commute distance to work.
The wants are extra features that you'd like the property to have, but you would look at a home and consider buying it without these features as long as the property has everything on your needs list. These are the features you can change or add later on, like a pool, skylights, or hardwood floors. A home that meets all your needs and has some of these added features would be a great option for you to consider.
Finalizing your wants versus needs checklist before starting your property search will save you lots of time and frustration. Just remember that no home is perfect, but this will help you make sure you get the best home for you.