There are few things more exciting than sitting down to make a list of what you’re looking for in your new home. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, it may truly feel like the sky is the limit! But before you rush off and start touring homes, you’ll want to make sure you’ve separated your needs from your wants. You should have a crystal-clear idea of what you’re not willing to compromise on. This will help keep you from having buyer’s remorse down the line. Here are a few questions you will want to ask yourself to sort your list of dream home features into needs and wants:
How Long Do You Plan to Spend in the Home?
When purchasing a home it’s important to have an idea of how long you plan to live in the home. One year? Five years? Twenty? However long you plan to stay, try to imagine how your life might change during that time. Are you planning to start a family? Want to have another child? Intend to work from home eventually? The home you’re buying should not only support your current lifestyle, but also the one you hope to have someday.
What’s Your Lifestyle Like?
Are you the type of person who is good with tools and enjoys working on projects around the house? Or do you travel often and have a packed schedule when you’re in town? Knowing what kind of person you are will help you make decisions about things that might sound nice in theory, but don’t actually fit with your family’s lifestyle.
Can That Feature Be Changed?
There are many things you can change about a home once you own it. But some things like location, neighborhood, lot size, and view, are fixed. Even things like HOA fees are outside of your control. You will want make sure those features that can’t be altered are on the needs side of your list.
How Expensive Will It Be to Make Changes?
New flooring and paint are relatively inexpensive and easy changes you can make to a home. Adding a new bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen…not so much. If you’re thinking about knocking down walls before you’ve made an offer, do some research and get a general estimate of what your renovations might cost. And if you think you would move out during the work, don’t forget to factor in the cost of your hotel stay. With that number in mind, you might decide that having a modern kitchen is something that belong in your needs category.
Is It a Deal-Breaker?
Make sure to ask this question about every item on your list. If a home met every other criterion except this one, would you walk away? If the answer is yes, that feature needs to go in the needs column. If you’d proceed with the sale regardless, then it’s a nice-to-have.
Once you have your list in place, you’ll be in a better position to make decisions about the homes you’re touring. But don’t forget to give yourself permission to make changes to your list as you spend time in the marketplace. My goal is to get you into your dream home, no matter how long it takes to find it! Give me a call to start your San Diego home search!