Buying a home can be a daunting process, but it does not have to be! With proper preparation and the assistance of a seasoned and proven real estate professional, your experience will run as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.
A great place to begin is by listing the “desires of your heart” for your new home. Write down everything you wish for in a new home. This can be anything: from a farmhouse on a few acres of land, to a condo with a rooftop deck, to an ideal downtown location that is within walking distance to what you love. This is not the time to be practical; this is the time when you get to think outside of the typical four walls and use your imagination without limits. This step is important because if you choose a new build or are remodeling before moving in you can add some of these personal touches from your wish list while the home is empty. It is easier to add these elements before settling in with all of your furniture and belongings. When the creative brainstorming is out of the way you can shift your focus to reality.
Next, determine what you want in your new home. Wants are the specifications that you would enjoy but are not deal breakers if the place you love does not have everything you need. This list may have some of the same items from your wish list, but it will consist of features that have room for compromise. For example, you may want a house with dark grey exterior paint, but you may find a new home that is dark green. The colour may not be ideal but if everything else about the house feels right, you can live with the current colour and maybe change it at a later date. When fleshing out your wants it is a great time to determine if you are buying a family home for the next 30 years or if you are willing to purchase a starter and upgrade when necessary.
When it is decision time, practicality in the form of needs takes center stage. Needs are the home features you cannot live without. You may want a pool, but must honestly determine if you will use it enough to warrant the expense and use of space to consider it a need. Or you may be downsizing from your current home and require less square footage to maintain, so the type of residence you seek may be a condo or an option in a retirement community. Conversely, your family may be growing with the addition of children or pets so your new home would ideally need to be a larger residence, possibly with some yard space. If you telecommute your office may insist that you have a dedicated work space so that need would impact your search as well.
After listing your wants and wishes you will make your final choice based on the home that supports and uplifts your lifestyle. Begin with the big picture and then focus on what is most important for your day-to-day needs. Whether you are downsizing, upgrading or looking for your “forever home” using a well-thought out list of needs you and your agent will discover the best home for your season of life.