Elli Davis

Real Estate Needs and Wants: Understanding What to Look for as a Homebuyer

Whether you are just starting, are in the process, or nearing the end of the home-hunting process, the search for the perfect place can feel endless. An excellent tool to ease the process is a home buying checklist that can help you determine your real estate needs and wants.

Keep it Short and Sweet

When creating a list of needs for your new home, it is important to keep the length reasonable: if the list is too long you will almost never check everything off, too short and you will struggle to narrow down your focus. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of ten things on your list, with no more than twenty.

Start Categorizing

With one question answered, another inevitably crops up! What is the right combination of real estate needs and wants in a home buying checklist? While there is no perfect ratio out there for every homebuyer, your real estate agent can suggest items that should appear in each category.

Identify the Things That You Need 

Cost should generally be in the needs requirement – that is to say, for example, your maximum budget should be $X before renovating and remodelling. Another need is usually the number of bedrooms or washrooms in a home. If you have any special medical issues, considering whether a home is wheelchair accessible or hypoallergenic will easily become the focal point on your needs list.

Some Needs Will be Easier to Identify than Others

There are some topics that lie squarely on the fence of is real estate needs and wants. For some, location is the most crucial part in searching for a home, for others it is the least important. Make sure that you understand how long you want your commute to work to be and arrange that accordingly into your checklist. Another hotly debated topic could be the consideration of square footage in a house. Also, whether or not you want to factor parking into the equation: the upfront cost can be more, but better for resale value, even if you do not currently own a vehicle.

Wants are Easy to Define

Wants are usually bonuses you can live without but would seriously appreciate having. This could be the age of the property, a special feature (a pool, hardwood floors, a fireplace) or even the ability to turn part of the property into a rentable space for either long term or short-term stays.

Take Your Time

A wellthought-out list will take time to assemble. Do not feel compelled to rush through to deliver it straight to your REALTOR® for fear of missing out on an potential property to purchase. Knowing exactly what you want will help your real estate agent tremendously, and having their help in creating the list can be beneficial to you as a Buyer.

A REALTOR® can access a variety of homes that may have not been on your radar and also quickly narrow down your search for you. Put pen to paper and see where your priorities lie – if you have any questions about your search, feel free to call me at 416.921.1112.