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Home Buying 101: Assessing Needs and Wants In A Home

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The search for a new home is an exciting process. Yet, deciding between your needs and wants based upon what you can afford is sometimes challenging. Prioritizing your needs and distinguishing your “must haves” from your “want to haves” can make these decisions easier.

Be sure to clearly and honestly articulate your needs and wants with your buyer’s agent. When your agent clearly understands your priorities, he or she can play a key role in helping you sort out your options. Your agent can also offer important insights specific to your local market.

With this in mind, here are a few things you should think about and prioritize into needs and wants categories:

Basic Criteria

  • Price Range and Ideal Price
  • Single family detached, condominium, or townhouse
  • Garage or parking space for car(s)
  • Total square footage
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms

Other Home Preferences 

  • Ranch, two-story, split level, etc.
  • Age and style of home (Victorian, bungalow, modern, etc.)
  • Energy efficiency or other green home features
  • Preferences regarding floor plan
  • High-priority home features (fireplace, premium kitchen appliances, etc.)
  • Specialty rooms (home office, hobby space, etc.)
  • Storage needs (closets, basement, outdoor shed, etc.)

Location 

  • Preferred areas/communities
  • Commuting considerations
  • Proximity to desirable features (community center, exercise facilities, schools, hospitals, etc.)
  • Views – How important is an ideal view or avoiding a bad one?

Lot Characteristics 

  • Size and shape (back, front, and side yards)
  • Landscaping considerations (open play areas, privacy, patio space, decking, etc.)
  • Home orientation – Is it important for your home to face a particular direction?
  • Feng shui

Life at Home

  • If you’ll be sharing your home with children, pets, live-in parent(s) or others, how does this impact your housing preferences—now and in the future? (For example, pets may require a fenced-in yard; older parents may need single-floor living)
  • What are your preferences regarding proximity to neighbors?

Trade-offs 

  • If you can’t find exactly what you want, how much are you willing to invest, beyond the purchase price, to pay for improvements or in terms of sweat equity?
  • Are you willing to consider other neighborhoods that offer better affordability?

Resale 

  • How long do you plan to live in this home? How does this impact the type of home you will buy, how much you’ll spend, and your choice of location?

In the end, most buyers make some trade-offs but at 3930 Group, our goal is to help ensure you are truly happy with your purchase. Be sure to discuss your needs and wants with us at the outset of our home search together.

You can find all this information and much more in the “3930 Group Buyer’s Guide.” Contact us today, for a complimentary copy.

Sam Wardle

Realtor

703-296-5255

703-533-0054

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