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Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer Today

Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer Today | Simplifying The Market

Since the number of homes for sale is low today, it can feel challenging to find one that checks all your boxes. But if you know which features are absolutely essential in your next home and which ones are just nice bonuses, you can land a home that fits your needs.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for, explains it like this:

Focus on the goal you set out for yourself, like your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and your budget, . . . Stick to that. Be persistent.

So how do you go about creating your list of desired features? The first step is to get pre-approved for your mortgage. Pre-approval helps you better understand your budget, and that plays an important role in how youll craft your list. After all, you dont want to fall in love with a home thats too far out of reach.

Once you have a good grasp of your budget, you can begin to list all the features of a home you would like. Heres a great way to think about them before you begin:

  • Must-Haves If a house doesnt have these features, it wont work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves These are features that youd love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves arent dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, its a contender (examples: a second home office, garage, etc.).
  • Dream State This is where you can really think big. Again, these arent features youll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, its a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Finally, once youve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your real estate advisor. Theyll be able to help you refine the list further, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your needs.

Bottom Line

Crafting your home search checklist may seem like a small task, but it can save you time and money. Its also one of the keys to being successful in todays competitive market. Lets connect so we can work together to find a home that fits your wants and needs.

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