Start Right: The Lists You Should Have Before Buying a Home
If realtors could pick the most important tool in buying a home, they would surely pick the checklists of wants and needs. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have this. They go to open houses and tour neighborhoods with only a mental picture of what their dream house looks like. In the end, all the stress of the home-buying process crops up: You struggle in crossing off certain properties, you let emotions, your love for the home dictates your financial decisions, and you find it hard to be on the same page with your spouse. The importance of the house essentials checklists can’t be overemphasized. You need them to make this big life decision a success.
The Needs List
In general, the items on your needs list are the ones that can break the deal when they’re not included in the purchase. At the top of that list, of course, is the budget. When a property doesn’t fit in your financial target, that’s the perfect cue to move on to another house on the market. If you haven’t discussed your budget yet, hit a pause in your house visits first and talk to loan officers. When and only when you know how much house you can afford can you resume touring homes.
The next on your needs list is the location. Location makes a lot of difference in how you live your life: the commute to office, the safety of the kids playing in the neighborhood, and your relationship with neighbors. Ask yourself what your ideal commute time from home to the workplace is. To campuses? To supermarkets? To a destination your lifestyle requires? Ask yourself what kind of neighborhood you want to move into. You might consider checking out a house and lot in Cavite, Philippines, and you might just find the warm, close-knit community you’re looking for.
The last thing to consider on this list is the space. For this, you’re not just looking for a property that will accommodate your current needs but also your future ones. If you’re hoping to add some more kids into your family, make sure to get a property that has extra bedrooms. If you’re planning to find a hobby such as gardening, perhaps a house with a bigger yard is necessary. Once you’re able to finalize your needs, remind yourself every now and then that these are deal-breakers. Even if a property has all the makings of a metro home but it’s in a location less desirable for you, cross it off your options.
The Wants List
When it comes to your wants list, it will consist of two A’s. The first one is the aesthetics. This includes the paint color, floor styles, ceiling architecture, carpeting, and other stylized elements. Specify what your eyes want to see, but keep in mind that these are wants only. Bonuses, so to speak. If you see a house that has navy blue walls and you hate anything blue, this isn’t a reason to pass up on the property. Remember that you can always change things up.
The next A on your wants list is the amenities. Now, this is usually the element most homebuyers confuse with needs. A pool is part of the amenities list. Good landscaping might be. A nice patio is, too. Without looking at them closely, these appear to be must-haves. But when you take into consideration your budget, which is your top deal-breaker, these essentials will have to take a backseat, given that they can crank up the home price.
Again, your needs and wants checklist are a very crucial tool in buying a home. It will narrow down your options easily. It will guide your financial moves. It will also help you get the property that really fits your lifestyle. That said, ask yourself: What should be on my list?
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