How To Evaluate What You Really Want In A Home
Finding the right home can often be a daunting task. With so many houses to choose from and many different amenities within them, it’s hard to know where to begin. Let us help you with that.
Here are two things you should ask yourself before you begin to evaluate any homes:
- What do you WANT in the home?
- What do you absolutely NEED in the home?
Think of these questions as your outline. Just as you would outline an article before writing it, you should also outline what you want and need in your next home. For many, this concept is a challenge but it’s one that sets you up for success. Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you can start to put together a home buying wish list.
If you know you want to live in a two-story home right on the lake, great. But, what about the necessities? Consider how much land you and your family might need, how many bedrooms are crucial to happy living, and other options like the number of bathrooms.
Distinguishing your “wants” from your “needs” will help you find the home of your dreams. If you’re wondering how to go about this, look no further. We’ve compiled a surefire way to help you answer these two questions and be well on your way to moving into a wonderful space. Here’s how.
First, Picture Your Dream Home
Some people have a general idea of what their “dream home” looks like and others may know exactly what they want right out of the gate. Everyone’s dream home is different, so it is important for you to ask yourself what you want vs. what you need.
Does your dream home have acres of land for your pets to frolic and family to enjoy outdoor activities while overlooking the lake? Or, is it more contemporary and modern in a large neighborhood close to town? Perhaps you’re interested in a home with a smaller footprint built in a planned community that is centered around sustainability?
Regardless of what the big picture looks like it is important to think about amenities too. Though you may love having a house on the lake, be honest about the amenities you need. If you’re a five-person family, a two bedroom home will probably not be the best living situation for you. If you’re interested in solar, then you will want to look at homes that are equipped with a solar hook-up, or factor that additional cost into your overall budget. Once you know what makes your dream home special – in terms of location and amenities – you have a great foundation to begin your search. If you’re unsure, here’s a handy house hunting checklist to get your gears turning.
Creating a checklist of all of the specific “wants” and “needs” of your dream home is a helpful way to compare the houses you tour to your ideal dream home (we will talk about this more in Step 3). While you may not be able to afford a home that has everything on your list, you might be surprised by how close you can come when you establish your “wants” and “needs”.
It doesn’t matter why you’re looking for a new place to live – buying your first home, moving for a new job, a retirement home, or just a fresh start – you’ll have to consider all factors in order to find the ideal place to live for you and your family.
Second, Work Backwards To Identify Your “Wants”
As you start to envision your dream palace, you may discover that you don’t need all the things you envisioned. Or, that homes with the amenities you are looking for are a little out of your price range. Sometimes the “wants” are easy to distinguish from the needs because you’ll find yourself saying “a hot tub or pool would be nice.” A different approach would be to ask yourself “is this desirable or necessary in order for me/us to live happily?”
You may be forced to make tough decisions along the way. For example, you might have to decide between picking a home that is closer to your work for convenience sake that has a smaller kitchen, rather than having the large open concept kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. The location is hard to change, but with the right renovations, you can customize your home just the way you like it down the road.
As you consider everything associated with your dream house, pay attention to your language. If you find yourself saying “might be nice” that is a want. Begin noticing what your “wants” versus “needs” are so you can write them down in the next step.
Third, create your Home Buying Wish List
Create a list including the “needs” and “wants” of your ideal home. This can be a handwritten list you bring with you to each open house. Or, a more involved excel spreadsheet where you can compare all your options later. Either way, having your “wants” and “needs” clearly laid out will help you determine what is feasible within your budget and your housing market. Using a home buying wish list will help you to find the home that is right for you and your family!
Bonus Tip: Consider The Sustainability Of Your New Home
As you begin your house hunting process don’t forget about the planet we live on. It’s generally understood that we humans can cause drastic change on this planet rather quickly. Consider getting a home that participates in green building practices and is energy efficient.
Energy Star certified homes are a great and simple choice for energy efficiency. By opting for energy efficient homes and choosing energy efficient products for your home you will drastically decrease your utilities and other costs that pop up over the life of a home. That extra savings can go a long way in saving up for future renovations or that vacation you’ve always dreamed of taking. Buying an eco-friendly home and adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle are two ways you can save money and help save the planet.
Ultimately, your home is where you spend the majority of your life, so you want it to be the one you love. It is up to you to decide what features you want to include vs. what necessities definitely need to be included.
We hope this article helps you on the path to finding the dream home you have always wanted! Have you found any other tips helpful when searching for your dream home? Let us know in the comments below.