House hunting! Yay! It can be such a fun process, but before you really start, it’s a good idea to think through your wish list and your needs list.
What’s the difference? A needs list are things in your future home that you absolutely must have in your new home. Many times this includes number of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking, or location. Wish lists are the nice to haves. For example, a fireplace, or vaulted ceilings. If you’re buying a home with a spouse, partner or friend, this is a good discussion to have before you begin the home shopping process.
Use the list below to really think through “is this home feature a must, must have, or is it more of a nice to have?”
1. Am I a city person or do I want to live in a quieter, more open area?
2. Are children in my future? Choosing a school district and neighborhood may be important factors.
3. Do I need to be close to public transportation?
4. Do I need to be close to the airport or major highways?
5. How long of a commute to work am I willing to make?
6. Do I want an older home or newer home (less than ten years old)?
7. Do I like contemporary, modern, traditional, mid-century, southwestern, rustic, or colonial?
8. Am I up for a fixer-upper project?
EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
9. Do I have a certain exteriors I do not want? I.e. brick, vinyl siding, stucco, wood siding, etc.
10. Do I need a big backyard? Consider your pets, kids, entertaining, etc.
11. Do I need to have a pool? Consider the maintenance it takes to have your own pool. Would you be open to a neighborhood community pool?
12. What size lot do I want?
13. Do I need a garage or am I ok with a carport or parking on the street?
14. Do I need extra parking for guests or additional cars?
15. Do I want curb appeal already there or do I want to add my own landscaping pizazz?
INTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
16. Do I want a ranch house (one-story) or do I want multiple levels?
17. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I want? Or need?
18. Do I need extra rooms like an office, mudroom, music room, basement, formal living room, or wine cellar?
19. What are the minimum number of bathrooms I need?
20. How much square footage do I want? Once you check out a few houses, you’ll be able to have a better idea on minimum square footage.
21. How much storage space do I need? Look at closets, attic space, built in shelves, etc.
22. Do I have to have hardwood or tile? Or is it ok if there is carpet?
23. What amenities do I need? I.e. granite countertops, built in shelves, vaulted ceilings?
A complete needs list and wish list will help and your realtor to narrow your search and get you one step closer to your dream home!
As you venture through your wish and needs lists, it’s a good idea to start preparing for home financing. We recommend considering getting pre-approved. A mortgage pre-approval shows you how much you are approved to spend on a home, which will help you during your home search.
Happy home shopping!
- By Lauren Howey,
Apr 11, 2017