If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about amenities they see on TV or Pinterest, and start looking at homes listed for sale with rose-colored glasses. It’s important to keep in mind what you want vs. what you need in order to stay focused and keep expectations realistic.
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen in order to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the man cave of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make or break now?
Begin your home buying process by getting pre-qualified for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it. The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to organize them as follows:
- ‘Must-Haves’ – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered. (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms)
- ‘Should-Haves’ – if the property hits all of the ‘must-haves’ and some of the ‘should-haves,’ it stays in contention, but does not need to have all of these features.
- ‘Absolute-Wish List’ – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!
Having this list fleshed out before starting your search will save you time and frustration. It will also allow your agent to know what features are most important to you before he or she begins to show you houses in your desired area. To help you stay focused, download our checklist and take it with you on your next trip house-hunting!