would you really like in your new home?
Knowing Your Needs Getting
down to the details.
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.
Get everyone together to get your preferences down. Start by
making 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. Once your list is complete, you can get a little more practical.
to Create the Perfect ListWishes, wants & needs.
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.
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.
List Will Help 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.
Assessing Potential Can you tell what the house could be?
Possibility of Remodeling
Sometimes the homes we like need some help.
Depending on your budget, you may need to look more at the potential of a particular
home than the actual structure. In some cases, it is more important that you can
modify the home to meet your needs than finding the perfect home as is. This is
where the ability to assess a house's potential comes in handy.
Commonality of Remodeling It's a homeowner epidemic.
tend to remodel within the first
18 months of buying a home. If you can't find a home with everything on your
list, find out if remodeling may be an option. Many remodelers will give you an
opinion and estimate on a new home to let you know whether your additions or changes
For example, say you find the perfect home. It has everything
you ever wanted. It is in the best neighborhood, in the best school district in
the county, and has all of the basic needs you listed, as well as nearly everything
in your "wanted" column. The only problem with the home is that is doesn't have
that extra bedroom you needed for a home office. However, it does have an unfinished
attic. Why pass on this house if you could transform the attic into the perfect
Call a remodeler or architect and ask him or her to meet you
and your agent at the house for an opinion. This may cost you a consulting fee,
but it will be well worth it if you find out that your plan will work and you
should proceed with buying the home.
Take a Chance on Potential
can handle a little dust. Potential is worth a lot when buying a home. The likelihood
that you will find the perfect house without any changes needing to be made is
fairly low, especially in the first-time homebuyers' market. Be willing to modify
a home to meet your needs.
How Long Will You Last?
reveals a lot about what you should do in your new home.
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