Select A Department:

Courses in this Department

Step 1 - Planning

Step 2 - Financing

Step 3 - Selecting

Step 4 - Buying

Step 5 - Owning



Choosing a Home that�s Right for You

Whaddya Want? Vs. Whaddya Need?

The best way to get the home you want is to know exactly what you want. You have to know whether you want a yard or not to determine whether a single family home would be better than a condo. You also need to know your real estate market. How do single family homes sell in your area compared to condos? Which has a better return?

You also need to know what features are important in your home. Do you absolutely need three full baths or would two do the trick? Do you need to be in a good school district or are your children grown and gone? These are the things worth thinking about before you start looking at every model home you come across.

Make a List

Sit down with every member of your family and make a list of everything you would like to see in the new home. This includes everything from safety features to a home theater system. Be as complete as possible with your list. Add in a wood fireplace in the kitchen if you have always wanted one. Be bold. Don�t worry about money at this point; just dream a little about what your ideal home would have.

Wishes, Wants and Needs

Once your list is complete, you can get a little more practical. Start by dividing a piece of paper into three columns marked wishes, wants and needs. Then start placing each item on your list into one of the three categories.

The "wishes" column will include everything you would have in your new home if money were no object. This means items like the restaurant-style range in the kitchen or the complete home theater system in the basement.

The "wants" column includes items that you would really, really like in your new home but that aren�t essential to everyday life.

The "needs" column is the crux of the matter. This column should include everything that must be in the house regardless of money. It means that any home you see that does not include these items will be marked off your list. This column should include such items as an accessible bathroom on the ground floor if you have an elderly family member living with you. It should include good school system if you have children in school still. It should include safety concerns and basic necessities, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Your list will help you define your search. It will also help direct your real estate agent or broker so he or she can show you the houses that match your list.

Assess the Potential...


Page 8 of 13