Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer This Spring
As the real estate market continues to be impacted by the pandemic, homebuyers are faced with a unique challenge this spring: finding the right home that meets their needs and wants while navigating a housing shortage. According to the Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com, there are still fewer homes available to buy on a typical day than there were before the pandemic in 2017 to 2019. This means that buyers need to carefully consider what’s a necessity versus what’s a nice-to-have when searching for a home.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage After Speaking to a Realtor
After contacting your real estate agent, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This step helps you better understand what you can borrow for your home loan, which plays an important role in how you’ll put your list of wants and needs together. You don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s out of reach financially.
Prioritize Your List of Wants and Needs
Once you have a good grasp on your budget, the best way to prioritize all the features you want and need in a home is to put together a list. When creating this list, it’s helpful to categorize features into three different groups: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and dream state.
These are features that are essential and necessary for you and your lifestyle. If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you. Examples of must-haves might include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a specific location, or a certain school district.
These are features you’d love to have but can live without if necessary. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender. Examples of nice-to-haves might include a backyard pool, a walk-in closet, or a fireplace.
This is where you can really think big.
These aren’t features you’ll necessarily need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner. Examples of dream state features might include a home theater, a gourmet kitchen, or a large outdoor entertaining space.
Discuss Your List with a Real Estate Agent Once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, it’s important to discuss it with your real estate agent. They can help you further refine your list, provide guidance on how to stick to it, and help you find a home in your area that meets your needs. A good real estate agent will be able to show you homes that meet your criteria and help you make an informed decision.
Bottom Line As a homebuyer in today’s market, it’s important to prioritize what you need in a home. By creating a list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and dream state features, you’ll be able to better focus your search and find a home that meets your needs and fits within your budget. With the help of a knowledgeable real estate agent, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream home.