Determining Your Home Must-Have List

Determining Your Home Must-Have List
  • Written on September 09, 2021 By Stanley Martin

Shopping for your dream home may feel overwhelming. With the many variables involved, from finding the perfect location to selecting the right floor plan, how can you make sure you’re buying the right home to fit your needs? With a little preparation and a house hunting plan in place, you’ll avoid wasting time looking at homes that don’t meet your criteria and will be on your way to unpacking boxes in your new space.

Home Wants vs. Needs

The best way to determine what belongs on your must-have list is to start by organizing checklists to narrow down your home wants and your home needs--and recognizing that these are two different sets of priorities. Like any major purchase, you might have to compromise on that one feature you thought you “needed,” that was more of a “want.” In fact, only 29% of all home buyers felt they made no compromises in their home purchase. Creating this list can also help you stay on budget and have higher confidence when making an offer.

Let’s start by defining home needs. A home “need” is considered a dealbreaker. If you need three bedrooms because your family can’t fit into a two-bedroom home, then you will not consider looking at homes that don’t meet that standard. No matter how beautiful a home is or what amazing deal you found, a “need” is a feature or detail that would be impossible, or very difficult, to compromise on. A home “want” is something that you really hope for in a home but can ultimately live without. You may want a screened-in back porch, but it’s not going to change your day-to-day routine or quality of life. Plus, you can always budget and build one later. Here are a few examples of each:

Common Home Needs

  • Sufficient bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Adequate square footage for comfortable living
  • Comfortable eat-in kitchen
  • Backyard for children’s or pet’s play area
  • Easy access to schools of your choice
  • Shorter commute to work

Common Home Wants

  • Hardwood floors, tile or carpet
  • Specific paint color
  • Swimming pool
  • Bay windows
  • Smart home features

When creating your “needs vs. wants” list, here are a few important questions to ask yourself:

  1. How long will you live in your home?
  2. Are your expectations realistic?
  3. If a home doesn’t currently meet your needs, can it be remodeled?

Now that you’ve asked yourself the tough questions and divided your home needs from your wants, narrow your list even further by ranking your “wants” column from highest to lowest priority. This will help to make your home buying process more efficient. By doing this exercise, you’ll realize things you can sacrifice in order to find a home that meets your needs and your top wants! For example, some buyers find themselves sacrificing home size for a better location. In fact, 81% of Americans agree that they value the location of their home over the size.

Determining your home must-have list may take a little extra planning and organization, but it will help make house hunting a pleasant experience for you and your family. Stanley Martin Homes are designed with your lifestyle in mind, and our team of experts is here to help align your home with your needs and wants.