When it comes to buying a home, especially with today’s affordability challenges, evaluating your wants and needs as a homebuyer matters more today than ever. And, today’s higher mortgage rates are impacting how much it costs to borrow money for your home loan. To help offset today’s higher borrowing costs, some homebuyers are taking a close look at their wish list and re-evaluating what features they need in their next home to avoid overextending. As a recent NerdWallet article says:

“A pool, for example, may be nice to have, but it may not provide as much day-to-day value as a garage or a space for a home office . . .”

While having a pool may be appealing, it would be wise to think twice about whether or not it’s really something you must have to be happy in your next home. Is getting that pool the main reason you’re moving? Probably not. It’s more likely a need for more space, a home office, or proximity to loved ones, friends, or work that’s motivating you to make a change.

So, if you’re looking to buy a home, take some time to consider what are truly essential features for you in your next house. Make a list of all the characteristics you’ll want to see, and from there, work to break down those features into categories. Here’s a great way to organize your list:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle and you will not move forward (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers. However, if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these nice-to-haves, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
  • Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll 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: a pool, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Once you’ve classified the features you’re looking for in a way that works for you, discuss your top priorities with your real estate agent. Make sure to think carefully about what’s a non-negotiable for your lifestyle and what’s a nice-to-have that’s more of an added bonus. Be sure to discuss where each feature falls with your real estate agent. They’ll be able to help you refine your list further, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your most important needs.

Bottom Line

Putting together your list of necessary features for your next home might seem like a small task, but it’s a crucial planning step on your homebuying journey today. A key component of your plan should include a trusted and reputable real estate agent.

At Bay Shores Real Estate we stand ready to help you define and find the home of your dreams. We are a partnership of professionals, each dedicated to helping you find the home that best fits your needs and that you’ll love. Our firm brings all of the key real estate-related services our clients need, together under one roof.

So, if you’re ready to find a home that fits your needs, let’s connect.