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Home features & amenities: Choosing needs vs wants when buying a home

Home features & amenities: Choosing needs vs wants when buying a home

When you’re buying a home, it’s important to know the difference between your needs and your wants. It’s hard to find a home that has everything, and knowing what you can compromise on is key.

Unless budget isn’t much of a concern, finding a home that has everything is next to impossible. There are just too many variables in any given home: location, layout, size and price, just to name a few. Before you begin the home-buying process, it’s important to sit down and decide what you must have in a home versus what you think would be nice to have.

Some examples of needs, or things you cannot live without:
• Number of bedrooms
• Number of bathrooms
• Commute time to work
• Adequate square footage
• Garage or parking spaces
• Fenced in yard, or large enough space for pets

Some examples of wants, or things that would be nice to have:
• Big closets
• A nice view
• Large showers
• Workshop or rec room
• Neighborhood clubhouse or amenities
• Fireplace
• Specific number of floors
• Pool or hot tub
• Master bedroom suite
• Formal living or dining area

Mario, a homebuyer, advises: “I would have a strategy. I would have the amount that I was not willing to go over, but the amenities that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice. In home buying I think it always comes down to at some point unless you’re building your own home, and even then, you’re probably going to have some form of compromise, whether it’s you end up paying a few more dollars here and there or whether you’re not getting an amenity here or there that you wanted. Some how you end up compromising. I think if you go into the entire process knowing what you’re willing to compromise and what you’re not willing to compromise it makes your life a lot easier.”

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

SUE: People, want a lot of things, but when it comes down to it, they really have to narrow down what they need and make a list – maybe five or six things that they have to have – and come to an agreement if you have a partner. Negotiate with them first, and get that narrowed down so you can make the best choice for your money.

SARAH: I think you’ve got to think about what’s important to you. I’m probably more analytical than some, but write it down, make a list of the things that are important to you and think about prioritizing those because you’re going to want everything, so think about what you want but then also of those things what’s most important. So when you have to start cutting things, because you will, you can start at the bottom of the list and move up.

MARIO: I would have a strategy. I would have the amount that I was not willing to go over, but the amenities that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice. In home buying I think it always comes down to at some point unless you’re building your own home, and even then, you’re probably going to have some form of compromise, whether it’s you end up paying a few more dollars here and there or whether you’re not getting an amenity here or there that you wanted. Some how you end up compromising. I think if you go into the entire process knowing what you’re willing to compromise and what you’re not willing to compromise it makes your life a lot easier.


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