Most buyers have their dream home in mind when they start house hunting. However, most don’t take the time to put a pencil to paper and create a checklist for their dream home. Defining exactly what you are looking home will make the process much easier and allows you to evaluate the homes you see in a logical way. Let’s get started.
- Write it Down. Simply make a list of everything that your dream home should have (if you are buying with a spouse or partner each needs to make a list).
- Separate the List. Review the list line item by line item and identify each as a want or need. Make sure that you agree on your needs.
- Needs are non-negotiable items. For example, if you have 2 children a 3 bedroom house is likely non-negotiable or if you work at home an office with the availability of high speed internet is a must have.
- Wants are the things that added to the needs increase the odds of you selecting the home. For example, if you love spending time outside an outdoor living space is a great bonus or, for the foodie, double ovens and a prep sink are a wonderful find.
- Prioritize the Wants. Not all wants are created equal. Rank your wants by highest to lowest, with your partner. Home buying is an emotional process so it is essential that there is agreement as to the importance of your wants. By merging and ranking your wants it will be easier for you to filter your search. As an example, if you have 5 wants and use all of them in your search criteria you may find that there are no homes available. However, if you start your search with your top 2 wants you will be more likely to find choices that meet the majority of your needs.
This process will give you a logical framework to start searching and allows you to identify the things you can and can’t live without. When you think you have found the right home review your wants and needs list to be sure the home meets your needs. There are times when buyers fall in love with a unique feature of a home, overlook their needs, and make an emotional decision which they later regret.
Using this process, your dream home is closer than you think!
Terry Roberts, Broker/Owner RE/MAX Landmark