When purchasing a home, it’s important to distinguish between your wants and needs, especially given the type of market you’re buying in. Here’s a list of common wants and needs to consider:
- Budget: Determine a price range you can comfortably afford, including mortgage payments, taxes, utilities and insurance.
- Location: Choose an area that meets your criteria for safety, commute, schools, and amenities.
- Property type: Identify the type of property you require, such as a single-family home, townhouse, or condo. That can also be in the want category depending on budget and market type at the time of purchase.
- Size: Determine the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms needed to accommodate your family.
- Essential features: List features that are non-negotiable, such as accessibility for family members with disabilities or a designated home office space.
- Condition: Consider whether you’re willing to take on a fixer-upper or if you need a move-in ready home. This one is also one that needs to be very well tough out: if you are buying a house and planning on being there for a short period, a fixer-upper might not be the best option. People seem to underestimate the amount of money and time needed for these projects. Again just one thing to consider.
- Future resale value: Factor in the potential for future growth in the area and the property’s potential for appreciation.
- Outdoor space: Note your preferences for a yard, patio, or deck. Do you want acreage or close neighbours…
- Garage or parking: Consider whether you need a garage or dedicated parking space.
- Extra rooms: List additional spaces you’d like, such as a bonus room, guest room, or finished basement.
- Upgrades: Note desired upgrades like high-end appliances, hardwood floors, or a fireplace.
- Neighbourhood amenities: List nearby amenities that you’d enjoy, like parks, gyms, or community pools.
- Proximity to points of interest: Note if you prefer to be close to shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, or public transportation.
In a seller’s market, where there’s more demand than supply, you might need to make concessions and prioritize your needs over your wants. In a buyer’s market, where supply exceeds demand, you’ll have more flexibility in negotiating and may be able to find a property that meets more of your wants.