Everything you should know for your next home

Wants versus needs; it’s something we learn early on as kids from our parents. “Do you need it, or do you just want it?” For many of us, we tend to justify the things we want so we can say that they are needs.  While this is okay sometimes with clothing or trivial items when it comes to buying a house those wants and needs will help us narrow down the focus of your new home search. When you’re deciding to buy a house, there are a lot of steps involved, and one of those should be to create a list of questions that answer your wants vs. needs. We’ve created a downloadable wishlist that will hopefully make your planning a little easier, but before that, we’re going to address a few things you’ll need beforehand. 

The Questions You Should Ask 

What do you like or not like about where you are right now? 

Maybe your move is about getting more or less of some things. Less of a drive to work, more access to outdoor activities like biking, or just a move into an area you’ve wanted to move to for a while. Regardless, this is an opportunity you have to pick a place that fits you better and addresses your needs. Jot down a few things that you wish were different about where you are currently- These can look like: 

  • What would you change about the current layout of your home  (number of bathrooms, number of bedrooms, living area space, etc)?
  • What are your thoughts on how urban or suburban your current area is? 
  • Would you prefer an age median that’s younger or older than your existing area?
  • Are there design styles or color pallets that you’re really in to? 
  • Do you wish there were more activities to do around you for you, friends, or family? Activities such as nature-oriented, city-oriented, or others? 

There are other questions to be asked & answered, however, size, location, finishes, and nearby activities are always a great place to start.  

What are the circumstances surrounding your move?

Seemingly obvious, but this question should be thought about. Whatever your next home is going to look like, it should be complementary to your lifestyle. Moving somewhere for a new job or moving somewhere to start a family are two very drastically different moves, and will affect the locations and types of residences you look for. It is important to take a look at your horizons- are you looking at becoming an empty nester anytime soon, or starting a family in the near future? Is your next residence location just a stepping stone in a bigger plan, or is it more of a long term decision?  Making sure you know for how long you’ll be staying or if you’re growing a family or not are important details to decide before looking.

Can you compromise?

Oftentimes, home buying involves trade-offs regarding size, location, layout, and finishes.  You might want someplace that’s closer to your job for a shorter commute, but those may be more expensive than living farther out. However, if the location is not something you’re willing to give up, you may end up having to live in a smaller home than you may have preferred.  Being prepared to balance these trade-offs will make your home buying experience smoother and perhaps faster as well. 

How much does your “want” list cost?

Say you have some wants that you really, really would like to have in your next home.  Take a few minutes to write them all down so that you can tally up their costs as it relates to your estimated purchase price and renovation budget.  Maybe there are some items you can postpone until you’ve been in the home for a while? Some items like cabinets & reconfigured walls are best done while the home is vacant, however, changing out light fixtures or replacing flooring can be done while living in the home. So go for it all, but keep in mind that it all doesn’t need to be done Day 1.   

Can you remodel some of your “wants” after purchase?

Maybe it’s more affordable for you to add in that pool or put on that addition or change the bad wallpaper from the ’80s after your purchase your new home instead of buying one with all of it included. If yes, make sure one of your “needs” is a residence with the ability to be remodeled. And like we just said- don’t try to do everything all in one day.

Keep in mind things that will add value after you sell

Keep in mind the home improvements that add the most value when you decide to sell. 

These “value-items” are those things that make your home more desirable and increase the price of your home when you eventually decide to sell. 

Or these can be things you buy with the residence- a beautiful view, an area that’s booming with jobs, a good school district, being in the heart of a city, etc. However, when adding on the things that make your house feel more like home (like your son’s built-in bunk bed), keep in mind these are more personal additions that potential new buyers may not see the value in. 

Home buying is a big decision, however, with FREEBIRD by your side, we’ll show you the way to make it as stress-free as possible. With the right mindset and some basic needs and want identifying, we will help you locate the best housing options in the market. We’re always happy to assist with any home buying questions you have, and if you’re looking for an agency to help you find that dream home, well, we can’t wait to meet you.

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