Step 2: Make a list of what you want in a new home

Do you have a home of your dreams? Most people have a partial idea of what they truly want in a home. For some, it may be a particular look–a colonial with shutters, a rancher with a skylight or a condo in the city with a gym. Others simply want room to roam–lots of bedrooms, a big kitchen, and a bigger family room, all on a large yard. Yet other first-time buyers are looking for good schools or a close-to-work location and are not that concerned about the appearance of the house.

Do you know what you really want in a new home?

How Do You Create A Wants List?

How do you really know what you want in a home until you buy one? It is not very helpful to create a “dream” list—a list of everything you dreamed of having in a home. This sort of list isn’t practical. If you let your imagination run away, pretty soon you are coming up with huge master bedroom suites with fireplaces, saunas, spas, tennis courts, pools or views of mountains, oceans, and lakes. In other words, most of our dreams are just that—dreams, wishful thinking not grounded in reality.

Try a different approach. We have found that while most of us do not always know what we do want, we are pretty certain about what we don’t want. We suggest that you first list the things you want to avoid. Once you get those down, you can easily convert them into a positive “wants” list.

How do you prioritize Your “Wants” List

If you ask people what items they want from a list of desirable things, and they are honest about it, they’ll tell you, “I want them all!”. Of course, we all do. However, in the real world, particularly given the high cost of housing, it may not be possible to get every item on your “wants” list. Therefore, it’s helpful to prioritize—to figure out which things you want most and which things, if forced to, you can get along without. How do you prioritize a “wants” list?

When we prioritize, we are basically asking ourselves to weigh the relative value of different items, and determine which ones carry more weight than others.

It is important to know what you want before you begin to look. Remaining flexible is the key to finding the right home. Try not to be too specific. If you get locked into a specific formula for a home, you may quickly become disappointed when you discover either that your ideal home simply isn’t out there.