When it comes to shopping, whether for groceries or clothes, preparing a list beforehand is strongly advised by experts. This habit will prevent you from buying unnecessary stuff and enable you to identify your needs and wants. Ultimately, it will allow you to prioritize your needs over your wants. Since a residential property is a huge investment, you have greater reason to distinguish what your needs and wants are.
Residential Real Estate Hunting
Looking for a new home is a daunting task. After all, you will not only invest hard-earned resources, but you will also have to live in that home. And according to the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers typically expect to live in their home for about 14 years. If you will live for that long in any property, it is only proper that you put a lot of thinking and effort into it.
Needs versus Wants
In hunting for residential real estate, it is easy to look around based on your wants. However, in reality, particularly for first-time homebuyers, wants must be sacrificed due to budget constraints. This is where your list of needs and wants become useful. The criteria for this list differ from one homebuyer to another since each person gives value to different factors and has varying concerns.
To start, ask yourself what you like and dislike in your present living situation. Thinking about what you appreciate in other people’s homes is likewise helpful. Here are some key factors to consider in making your list:
The size of space you need will depend on the size of your household. A house for a family of seven obviously requires larger space than a house for a newlywed couple who is just starting a family. You may also take into account your future plans for your family. This factor covers ‘needs’ as it encompasses having sufficient number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a place for storage needs, an area where children or pets can play, and an adequate square footage for comfortable living.
This is a very important factor to consider as it would affect your day-to-day routines and lifestyle. Do you prefer an urban setting or suburbs living? Do you like living near your workplace or enjoy commuting? Your choice of location will also affect your home budget as it influences the property taxes and homeowner’s insurance costs you will pay. Obviously this factor encompasses your needs.
This is where the wants fall under. Amenities include your preferred paint, wall paper, exterior color, carpeting, flooring, lighting fixtures, counters and windows. Pools, Jacuzzi, fireplaces, walk-in closets, pretty views and overlooking skylights may also be considered as amenities. The mentioned features add comfort and enhance home living environment, but you can survive without them.
It is completely fine to wish for or even purchase features that are mere wants. Just ensure that you do so within your financial capability. It is also important for you to be flexible since some objects that were originally wants can become needs. The key is to be honest with yourself and be reasonable.
Written by the experts at Columbia Real Estate, the most knowledgeable agents for real estate in Columbia, MO.