Balancing What You Want and What You Need

Buying

As a buyer in the current market, it is a balancing act between what you want and what you need when considering a home purchase. Since the number of homes for sale is low, it can be 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, it may make purchasing a bit easier. The footprint of certain homes can be limiting. We love homes that have some flexibility in how they can be used and counsel our buyers to let this weigh heavily on their decision. 

“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.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains it like this

So how do you go about creating your list of desired features? The first step is to understand what you can afford or what you want to spend so getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step. Pre-approval helps you better understand your budget, and that plays an important role in how you’ll craft your list. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s 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. Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t 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 you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, garage, etc.).
  • Dream State– This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll 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, it’s a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss with your broker. A good broker in this market is looking for property for their buyers in other ways than just online. We are reaching out to our past clients, directly to owners and to other agents to ask about properties that they may know about. Understanding our buyers’ criteria gives us a focus and ultimately helps us find the right property.

Crafting your home search checklist may seem like a small task, but it can save you time and money. It’s also one of the keys to being successful in today’s competitive market. 

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April 13, 2022

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