Understanding Your Needs and Wants When Buying a New Home

Understanding Your Needs and Wants When Buying a New Home

Organize your wants and needs to help you prioritize your goals for buying a new home. Here’s how.

When buying a new home, you probably have a strong vision of what you’re looking for. From home amenities to location to the lifestyle you’ll experience there, there are many factors that influence your decision-making when buying a new home.

Why It’s Important to Define Your Wants vs Needs When Buying a New Home

It’s important to clarify your wants and needs before going into the home shopping process. When you have a clear understanding of your non-negotiable needs and your wants, the process of buying a new home becomes more efficient.

You’ll be able to narrow your search down to only the listings that meet your needs when house hunting, saving you time and energy. This also prevents you from finding a listing that you like, only to find out later that it does not meet one of your top-priority needs — so it ultimately doesn’t qualify as a realistic option.

Furthermore, providing your agent with a clearly defined list of wants and needs can help them identify available properties in your area that would be the right fit for you.

3 Steps for Figuring Out Your Real Estate Needs and Wants

Here are three tips to help you distinguish your “needs” from your “wants” when buying a new home.

Step #1. List Out Everything You Want From Your New Home

List Out Everything You Want From Your New Home
Work together with your family (or on your own) to determine how you will use your home and what purposes it will fill.

Start broad and make a list of all of the items you’re looking for when buying a new home. Don’t think about separating these items into wants and needs yet, just openly brainstorm a list of things that are important to you.

It can be transaction-related, such as budget and property size, or it can speak to lifestyles, such as proximity to your favorite fitness studio or a place to garden on your property.

Try to be as detailed as possible. Think about this exercise as creating a roadmap to buying a new home. After you’ve made your list, the next step will be distinguishing the wants from the needs.

Step #2. Highlight the Items That You Absolutely Need

Review your list and identify any of the items that you cannot compromise on. These may be realistic concerns, like budget, location, and housing style. But, you may also include lifestyle considerations that are make-it-or-break-it for you.

  • Perhaps you need a home with a large yard for your dog, or a home away from a busy street to keep your kids safe.
  • Maybe you want a walkable neighborhood because you won’t be buying a car for the first few months of living in your new home.
  • Or, maybe you need a property with ample sunlight because you work from home and need the right ambiance to get focused.

Think about the items that would make you turn away from a listing that did not meet these essential criteria. These would be considered your needs.

Step #3. Review What’s Left to Determine Your Wants

Review What’s Left to Determine Your Wants
Your agent can help to align any additional "wants" into the listings they search for based on your budget, neighborhood, and more.

After you’ve identified which items are your critical needs, look over the list to see what was left. As you’re reviewing, think about it deeply to make sure that you haven’t missed any of your needs.

At this point, you may have edits to what you previously wrote down or perhaps have new items to add to the list. Maybe you want to refine one of the points to be more specific, or maybe you actually don’t think one of the points is that important.

When you’ve separated your needs from your wants, read through your list of wants and rank them from most important to least important.

It could be helpful to use stars to quickly take note of your priorities. You could place five stars next to the most important items, and one star next to wants that you could live without.

Finally, make a list of the wants that you placed five stars next to. In the end, you’ll be left with:

  • A list of your non-negotiable needs
  • A list of your top-priority wants
  • A list of lesser-importance wants

Talk to a Top Agent in Your Market

If you need help determining what your needs and wants are, your perfect real estate agent can provide you with helpful insights and personalized tips.

The most successful real estate agents in your target market have the experience and expertise to guide you through the process of buying a new home.

You may want to consider booking a meeting with your agent to talk about your goals for your new home. From there, they can speak to your specific circumstances and explain how it may play out in the local housing market.

If you’re ready to get connected with a trusted expert agent in your next home city, visit RealEstateAgents.com to launch your real estate journey.

Scott Castillo
Find Your Perfect Agent