House Buying “Needs and Wants”

Before you embark on your search for the perfect house, it is important that you make a realistic “shopping list” in an attempt to narrow your choices of properties. Hunting for a home can be a time consuming process, especially if you have not determined in advance the parameters of your search. Many home buyers make the mistake of misinterpreting a WANT as a NEED. As a result, they often dismiss homes that perfectly fit their needs in search for one that has their wants. This is not to say that you cannot have what you desire in your home–just that you must be able to differentiate between what you truly need and what you would like to have. Your budget must be the determining factor here, not a “wish list.” Note, also, that in the examples below, many WANTS can be changed in a particular home (if the house doesn’t have that feature now, you can change it later).

 

Examples of NEEDS

Examples of WANTS

1.Enough square footage for comfortable living1.Carpeting color, paint color, exterior color, roof color, etc.
2.Enough bedrooms to accommodate your family2.Pool or Jacuzzi (unless for medical reasons)
3.Adequate number of bathrooms3.Wood floors
4.Eat-in kitchen4.Bay windows
5.Garage or basement for storage needs5.Built-in entertainment center
6.Lot size to accommodate children’s play area6.Brass lighting fixtures
7.Adaptation for Handicapped7.Skylights
8.Proximity to a specific school8.A pretty view
9.All living areas on single floor for health reasons9.Specific brand/types of appliances

Take a few minutes to develop your own list of NEEDS and WANTS. You can print out scorecards and recap sheets here that you can use as you begin to evaluate homes. The goal is to put the emphasis on finding a house that includes all of your needs and as many of your wants as is practical–yet remains in your budget. Once you have a clearer view of what your house will need to have, the next step, actually looking for a home, will be a great deal easier!

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RECOMMENDED READING from Amazon.com

10 Steps to Home Ownership : A Workbook for First-Time Buyers by Ilyce R. Glink Highly recommended. Concise, yet easy to understand.

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