Determining Needs vs. Wants When Buying a Home

Verani Realty

couple examining financesJust about every homebuyer has an image in their mind of what their next home will look like. After all, we tend to know what we really want. The question is, in a competitive market with rising home prices, do you know what you actually need?

This where needs versus wants come into play as you narrow down your home buying options. Perhaps your budget may not allow for all of your wants, or perhaps no house you have seen so far has all the features you are requiring. This is when you need to really sit down and determine what is non-negotiable and what would simply be “nice to have”.

Start by determining how much you need certain features and how big a role they play in whether you could buy a particular home. Here are some common examples that may start out on your need list, but could ultimately be negotiable:

  • Two-car garage – Just about everyone wants one, but if this is a starter home it may not have one. Is it a must? Is there room to build one in the future?

  • Two sinks in the master bathroom – Perhaps this is key to you and your partner getting to work on time – and not fighting. Is it a must? Is there room to put in a double sink vanity? Could one of you use the hallway bathroom?

  • Huge walk in closet – Storage is important, but sometimes we wish for more than we actually need. Will your clothes fit into the current closet space of the home? Are their options to expand it someday? Could you purge some of your wardrobe?

  • Granite countertops –You had your heart set on a certain color granite and custom cabinetry. Can you compromise and still like the kitchen? Are you able to update the kitchen in the future and choose exactly what you want then?

  • Big back yard – You may be dreaming of open space and 3-plus acres of land, but is it a must have or a nice to have? Do you have kids or a large dog that would require a back yard for running or play space? Are there parks nearby that would serve your outdoor needs? How negotiable are you on the size of the yard you must have?

  • Modern style – While it’s true that the style of the actual structure of a house is hard to change, don’t confuse that with paint colors and décor. Picture the home without the shag carpets and ask yourself if you could do a little refurbishing to make it fit your personal style.

Often, the perfect home is not perfect when you first see it. It requires some changes, and maybe even compromising on one feature so you can get another feature you must have to be happy. It pays to really examine what matters most and create a list of areas where you won’t compromise – and where you will.

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