Balancing Your Wants Vs. Needs When Buying a Home

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Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you'll ever make. But from picking the right location to finding a style you love, there are many factors to consider.

However, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement surrounding a new home purchase and forget about what's truly important. In this article, you'll learn how to prioritize your wants vs. needs when buying a home. By following our helpful tips, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect home for you!

Understanding Your Budget

Before looking for a home, you should know exactly how much you can spend. A financial adviser can help you work out how much you can afford on a mortgage and other monthly costs. After doing some research on the average cost of homes in your area, you'll be able to determine how much you can afford to spend.

Remember that buying a home is an investment, and like any other investment, it has risks. Keep this in mind when looking for your dream house because it could end up costing you more than you have if not done right.


Get pre-approved

Getting pre-approved for a home loan ensures you don't end up overspending on your new home, and the mortgage process won't take longer than expected. With a pre-approved mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend and what terms (interest rate, length of the loan, etc.) will be included.

Meeting with a real estate agent and looking at several homes without being pre-approved can waste precious time. Instead, be proactive and contact a bank or lender to figure out your financing options before you begin the house-hunting process. 


Create a wishlist

You should always have a clear idea of what you want in your new home. A needs and wants list is an essential tool to help you focus on the most vital features you expect in a home without looking at houses above your budget.

Once you've created your needs and wants list, it's time to narrow down your search based on location, size, style, etc. Of course, your must-haves take precedence over your nice-to-haves on your needs and wants list, but it's crucial that you're flexible when looking. It's easy to get fixated on a particular area or type of home (i.e., single-family detached vs. townhouse), so don't let your wishlist blind you from looking at homes in different neighborhoods or styles.


Determine the trade-offs between location, size, amenities, and price

Home shopping is a lot like buying a car: There's always something you can give up to get something else. However, it's essential not to take it too far and sacrifice important needs for wants.

For example, you may choose location over an area with good schools, sacrificing children's education for lifestyle. Or you may give up a preferred neighbourhood for extra square footage to save vital amenities such as extra storage space or an additional bathroom.


Don't forget about maintenance and repairs

When buying a new home, it's easy to get swept up in the excitement of decorating and making it your own. However, remember that owning a home means regular maintenance, such as minor repairs and yearly costs (i.e. changing the AC filter or servicing appliances).

If you're not ready to take on these expenses, it may be best to rent instead of buying your dream home. Talk with a financial advisor or REALTOR® to discuss what financial costs you should be aware of before making the big purchase.


Ready to purchase a home?

If you’re ready to become a homeowner, you need to prioritize, despite how overwhelming it can be. But after creating a needs and wants list, you can narrow down which homes are right for you and find your dream home much easier.

Get in touch with an MLS REALTOR®, like us at the Garman Group, to find out more about buying a home and start comparing homes for sale in your desired neighbourhood. We'll help you search through a wide range of homes at your convenience and narrow your search based on the features you want most. So whether it's a low-maintenance home with a smaller yard or a location closer to work, you can find the house that meets all your needs within your budget.