How to Balance Your Home Buying Wants and Needs

Buying a home can be one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make, and it’s important to not only getting what you need but also what you want. However, balancing your wants and needs can be challenging, particularly if you’re a first-time homebuyer and the experience is new to you. Here’s how to strike the perfect balance between your wants and needs as a homebuyer:

1. Determine Your Needs

The first step to balancing your wants and needs as a homebuyer is to establish what your needs are. Your needs are those things that are essential to your lifestyle, and you can’t do without them. For example, if you have a family of six, you may need a home with at least four bedrooms, or if you work from home, you may need an office or workspace.

When determining your needs, create a checklist of the essential features you need in your home. Consider factors such as location, size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, storage space, parking, and outdoor areas.

2. Establish Your Wants

Once you’ve established your needs, the next step is to create your wishlist. These are the things you dream of having in your home that would make it more enjoyable, but you can live without them. For example, you may want a swimming pool or a home theatre, but they aren’t essential items. When establishing your wants, consider factors such as home design, decor, landscaping, and amenities such as a gym or pool.

3. Set Your Budget

Balancing your wants and needs as a homebuyer also requires that you set a budget. To get an idea of your realistic budget, you should speak with an experienced local lender. It’s important to speak with a lender that’s familiar with your area because financial requirements can vary by city and state. They’ll assess your credit and savings to determine what kind of home you can afford and what type of loan would work best for you. It’s easy to get carried away when shopping for a home, particularly when you see a property that ticks all the boxes, but if it’s out of your budget, you may end up in financial trouble.

4. Start Prioritizing

Now that you’ve established your needs, wants, and budget, the next step is to prioritize your needs. It’s essential to ensure that your needs are met first before considering your wants. Unless you’re searching for your forever home, you may need to compromise on some of your “wants” to find a home that’s right for you.

5. Be Flexible

When shopping for a home, it’s essential to be flexible and keep an open mind. For example, if you can’t find a home with four bedrooms in your preferred location, you may want to consider a home with three bedrooms or expand your search to a neighboring area.

6. Talk to a Pro

Lastly, if you’re trying to balance your wants and needs as a homebuyer, chat with a professional. They can help be a voice of reason and they can also provide valuable insights into the local property market and help you negotiate a fair price. A real estate agent can help you find a property that meets your needs and wants within your budget.

Ready to get started on your home-buying journey? Tell us what kind of home you’re looking for and we can start sending you some options! Or, give us a call at 562.896.2456.

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About the Author

Shannon Jones has been selling real estate since 1998 and specializes in listing and marketing homes. She has consistently been one of the top Realtors in the Long Beach area. Prior to her award-winning career in real estate with the Shannon jones Team, Shannon has had successful careers in journalism and public relations. She holds a bachelors degree from UC Irvine and a masters degree from UC Berkeley. Shannon holds E-Pro, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), and PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) certifications. Shannon is very personable and maintains a very strong moral compass, always putting the best interest of home buyers/sellers above monetary goals. A California native, Shannon enjoys gardening, travel, reading, cooking and poker when she’s not selling homes MY DESIGNATIONS Lic# 01247705 | CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) | E-Pro | PSC (Pre-Foreclosure Specialist) MY SERVICE AREAS Anaheim Bellflower Buena Park Carson Cerritos Cypress Downey Fountain Valley Garden Grove Huntington Beach La Palma Lakewood Long Beach Los Alamitos Los Angeles County Norwalk Orange County Rossmoor San Pedro Seal Beach Signal Hill South Bay Westminster