A Guide to Balancing Wants and Needs When Buying a Home

Buying a home is exciting, especially when you’re in the process of finding the perfect one for your family. It could also be that you’re buying a house solo, and you’re thrilled at the prospect of establishing your independence. Many home buyers start out thrilled, only to have their spirits dampened by the many difficult choices in their path.

It happens all too frequently that people like more than one house, and they’re conflicted about which amenities or features they want to prioritize. There’s also the overwhelming fear of making a mistake because once you sign that dotted line, there’s no turning back.

It’s a good thing that there’s a simple way to avoid this scenario. All you have to do is to define your needs and wants in a home. Here you’ll learn why it’s helpful and how to do it to propel your success.

Draw a Line 

Before you begin introspecting and making lists, it’s important that you draw a clear line between your wants and needs. It may also be helpful to add a third category for details you don’t particularly care about. You have to allot time for this because it requires plenty of introspection and maybe even Googling to come up with a list you’re confident with.

Needs are your non-negotiables. This means you absolutely need to have them because they’re integral to your wellness, productivity, and happiness. This could be a gated house or one with a huge backyard because you have pets and children. Maybe it’s the number of bedrooms, as your children are adamant to have their own space.

Wants, on the other hand, are those that you like but could live without. For some people, a huge backyard is not a need but a want. For others still, it’s something they don’t care about. Categorizing each one of these aspects will significantly improve your house-hunting journey.

Stick with the Facts

Since your needs should always take priority, it’s critical that you stick with the facts. Don’t overestimate your earning capacity, and stick to a realistic budget. When scouting for affordable house and land packages, make sure that they’re within your set price range. Get an objective perspective of the neighborhood and how it meets your needs. If your realtor wants you to check out houses in another place that’s more expensive, decline politely.

Over-indulging in-house tours can tempt you to blow up your budget and disregard your needs for your wants. When you know your facts and stick to them, you can simplify your home-buying agenda by several notches.

Make a Leeway for the Future

While it’s crucial to meet your present needs, you should always make enough leeway for the future. This is especially true if your children are just toddlers, and you want to give them their own space once they’re teenagers. This doesn’t necessarily mean buying a house with several bedrooms if you can’t afford it. You can find options with enough space to convert or renovate in the future. Anticipating your future needs and being strategic in how you consider them can significantly improve your vision of the ideal home.

Talk With Your Family

Never assume that you know everything. This applies to buyers with families and those without. Share your list with family members so that you can brainstorm about them. You might be surprised at how certain things you categorized as ‘wants’ are actually ‘needs’ for your spouse and children. If you’re buying solo, consulting with people you trust can enlighten you about home buying. Reach out to people with experience in this area, because they have lessons that will improve your understanding of what it takes to own and manage a home you love.

Read About It

There are amenities and items you think you need because of social conditioning or popular media. When you dig deeper, however, many of the things you’re advocating for in a home could be dated or not as useful as you once believed.

Maybe you’re inclined to houses with linoleum flooring because that’s what you’re used to, when in fact your lifestyle calls for low-maintenance wood and tile alternatives. Perhaps Tuscan kitchens were your thing when in fact you’ll enjoy the benefits of a more airy kitchen with lots of natural sunlight. Do your research so you’re sure that your needs are updated.

Once you have your list, you can be more eagle-eyed about the houses you visit. It’s less likely that you’ll be swayed by your emotions because now you’re sure about what your ideal home really looks like.

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