Distinguishing Your Wants vs. Needs when Buying a New Home

“But, I neeeeed it!” If you are a parent, you have probably heard this a thousand times while your child plead their case for a new outfit, video game, or even their favorite sweet treat. However, as rational adults/constant negotiators, we kindly remind them the difference between what they want and what they actually need.

Now, I am not saying that all home buyers are as moody and indecisive as my teenage daughter; however, they can often have a difficult time distinguishing what they need in a new home vs. what they may just really, really want. I am also not saying that home buyers should only look for what they actually need. If that were the case, we would just be looking for a home with a roof and running water. Yet, I have seen buyers pass up great homes because they got hung up on one or two things they thought they had to have, but could be very well be happy and comfortable without.

To help begin the process, think about why you are moving. Do you need more space, a bigger yard, to be closer to work, a specific school district for your kids….? Write down the reasons your current home is not working for you anymore. Then, prioritize your list with things you truly must have to be content in your new home followed by items that would be nice, but are not completely necessary.

It is also very important to focus on things that can or cannot be changed. When adding items to the list, ask yourself why you feel you “need” it.  How often would you really use a whirlpool, garden soak tub? So, why must you have it? If a home has plenty of above ground finished living space or a 2nd floor bonus room, do you really “need” a finished basement? Do you really want to pass on this home just because the kitchen cabinets are a shade darker than you would like even though it is the perfect size, and on a great lot? Floor plans, lot size, and location are things they cannot really be changed; but, are very important characteristics in a home. Wall color, cabinet color, countertops, bathroom amenities, patios/decks, and flooring are things that can be changed or added rather easily. So, really think about the things you and your family will need and then prioritize those needs before starting your home search. Then, your realtor will be able to create a very specialized list of homes to show you and save both of you a lot of time.

Now, some of you may be asking how much weight should be given to popular home trends that may or may not coincide with your personal tastes.  Although, understanding current home trends is important to protect your investment, don’t get caught up on thinking you need certain items out of fear of not being able to re-sell your home down the line. Home trends change, and just because everyone thinks you have to have a 2-story great room one year, doesn’t mean 5-10 years down the line, it will still be a popular “must have” item. Is a 2-story wall of windows more important to you than extra 2nd floor square footage and lower utility bills? A professional real estate agent can help you understand the pros and cons of the current market trends to help secure your investment while still helping you find the ideal home for you and your family.

Check out our website page http://www.alfriendgroup.com/buyers.php for more home buyer resources and tips.

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