What home features are most important to you and your family when it comes to moving into a new home? Using a home buying checklist or home buying wish list will help you determine and find the perfect home. A home that is ideal for you and your family.
By: Colleen Voisin Date: 8/1/2021
There’s No Place Like Home
There is not a universal template for what we all need in our next home. Your next dream home will be different from someone else’s but so where do you start? That’s the easy part as we’ve taken the guesswork out and created a checklist. Now you can ask yourself and your family the right questions.
First, start by asking yourself (whether you rent or own), what do you like about your current home? What don’t you like about it? Knowing the answers to these questions will move the needle in knowing what you want in a new home. Your current home can provide a deep perspective. You will soon have a list that you can provide to your real estate agent and start searching for your dream home.
Must Have/Need In A Home
Next, let’s pinpoint what you must have/need in a home. Focus on your day to day living and lifestyle. How does your current home features match up to start this category? Start by saying a home must have these qualities in order for you to consider buying it.
In the “must have/need” section we like to call these deal makers or deal breakers. You must have these features in your home or you walk away. For example, if you are a family of six, searching for four bedroom homes is a better match than two bedroom homes. Another example might be a certain school district or the commute time to work. This list should be short as they are non negotiable items. When understanding this list, consider what you and your family need to live if all else was removed.
What You Want In a Home
Now, understanding what you want in a home is totally different from what you need. Wants may not necessarily be what you must have. We all want different things. Some might want a pool but ask yourself this, is it a deal breaker or “would it be nice to have?” This is how you identify what home features you need vs. what home features you want.
Now your “want” category can be long. You may not be able to afford everything on your list but you can come close. Finding and purchasing the right home takes time. You want to be happy in your new home because that’s where you are going to spend the majority of your time.
What Can You Afford
After creating your above lists the next step in the process is to go get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Pre-qualifying will determine what you can afford. This is the most important step of the entire process. You might not be able to afford everything on your want and need list. But a loan officer will check your ratio of outstanding debt next to your income (DTI debt to income ratio). Next they will figure out how much you can afford without overextending yourself once you get a mortgage.
Finally, once you’re pre-qualified, take your needs and wants lists to your real estate agent. Now you can start looking for that perfect home. Check out our printable floorplan feature wish list. This will help you determine what your might need and want in your next home. DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST.