Tips To Determine Your Wants and Needs In A Home

House hunting can be such a fun process, but before you start, it’s a good idea to think through your wish list and your needs list to help you and your realtor focus your home search on potential properties that will meet your needs.

What’s the difference?

A Needs List are features that you absolutely must have in your new home. Many times this includes number of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking, or location.

Wish Lists are the nice to haves. For example, a fireplace, or vaulted ceilings. If you’re buying a home with a spouse, partner or friend, this is a good discussion to have before you begin the home shopping process.  
Use the list below to really think through “is this home feature a must, must have, or is it more of a nice to have?”


1. Am I a city person or do I want to live in a quieter, more open area?
2. Are children in my future? Choosing a school district and neighborhood may be important factors.
3. Do I need to be close to public transportation?
4. Do I need to be close to the airport or major highways?
5. How long of a commute to work am I willing to make?


6. Do I want an older home or newer home (less than ten years old)?
7. Do I like contemporary, modern, traditional, mid-century, southwestern, rustic, or colonial?
8. Am I up for a fixer-upper project?


9. Do I have a certain exteriors I do not want? I.e. brick, vinyl siding, stucco, wood siding, etc.
10. Do I need a big backyard? Consider your pets, kids, entertaining, etc.
11. Do I need to have a pool? Consider the maintenance it takes to have your own pool. Would you be open to a neighborhood community pool?
12. What size lot do I want?
13. Do I need extra parking for guests or additional cars?
15. Do I want curb a garage or am I ok with a carport or parking on the street?
14. Do I need appeal already there or do I want to add my own landscaping pizazz?


16. Do I want a ranch house (one-story) or do I want multiple levels?
17. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I want? Or need?
18. Do I need extra rooms like an office, mudroom, music room, basement, formal living room, or wine cellar?
19. What are the minimum number of bathrooms I need?
20. How much square footage do I want? Once you check out a few houses, you’ll be able to have a better idea on minimum square footage.
21. How much storage space do I need? Look at closets, attic space, built in shelves, etc.
22. Do I have to have hardwood or tile? Or is it ok if there is carpet?
23. What amenities do I need? I.e. granite countertops, built in shelves, vaulted ceilings?
A complete needs list and wish list will help and your realtor to narrow your search and get you one step closer to your dream home!

As you venture through your wish and needs lists, it’s a good idea to start preparing for home financing. If you haven't done so already, we recommend getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A mortgage pre-approval give you a realtistic house huting budget and will help you determine if you can afford some of the items on yourr Wants List.
- Sep 16, 2018