It’s easy for homebuyers (and especially first time homebuyers) to start their home search wearing rose colored glasses. We get excited by the prospect of home-ownership, and think most about how we will arrange and inhabit our space rather than what home makes the most sense for our lifestyles and budgets. As always, the first step for a homebuyer is pre-approval. Once you know what you qualify for, it is so important to make some lists based on your budget. The best way to do that?
Think about the following categories: your must-haves, meaning your non-negotiable items, your nice-to-haves, or the things you want but could live without, and lastly, your dream features.
Making these lists will not only help keep you focused when looking at homes, but it will also help you make decisions more efficiently and thoughtfully.
So, for example, a non-negotiable or must-have item could be a good foundation, spacious kitchen, or a sufficient number of beds and baths. Some examples of nice-to-haves might be hardwood flooring throughout, a pool, finished basement, or a fenced in backyard. And the dream items? This is where you get to go wild. On this list, you might add things such as a pot filler in the kitchen, a wet bar, outdoor entertainment space, or a steam unit in the shower. Of course, the items on these lists will vary dramatically based on the individual and their budget. But what remains the same regardless is that if you want to see a home that does not check off items on your must-haves list, you probably shouldn’t be looking at it. Once you have made your lists, present them to a trusted realtor! Based on your lists, they can tailor to best suit you. This allows your realtor to optimize their showing time, so you can see a number of houses without wasting time on the ones that are not for you.