Figuring Out Your Deal-Breakers When Buying a Home
After you understand your financial circumstances and have received a pre-approval letter, you are ready to begin searching for a home. Now is the time to begin identifying some of your primary wants and needs around a house. Truly, this is a question of wants and needs, and there is a big difference between the two.
Into this category should go things that are not truly deal-breakers. If, for instance, you would really like a two-story home but the only listings available within your price range are cute ranch-style houses, it might be worth compromising rather than overextending your finances. Three season porches, fireplaces, gas stoves, and finished basements are often other examples of wants rather than needs.
The thing is, the wants vs. needs question is one that is very much dependent on your particular circumstances. Things that are wants for one person might very well be needs for another.
Knowing when and where to compromise is an essential part of the homebuying process. If you are planning on having several children, for instance, then you might not want to settle for a home with only two bedrooms. If you are a household with many high-energy dogs, lack of a backyard might be a serious issue that you want to avoid.
Again, while the particular want/need question is something only you can answer, it is key to getting it nailed down before you begin the homebuying process.
If you don’t have conversations such as this you might very well find yourself purchasing a home that, in fact, is lacking several key needs that you never identified. Once the offer has been accepted, there really isn’t any going back, meaning that a failure to identify key needs is an unspeakably important topic.
As might be apparent from this post, identifying the needs is more important than the wants. If it helps, think of the wants as daydreams or as future possibilities on the home you wind up buying. If they happen to already be there, all the better, but don’t let an absence of some of your wants prevent you from looking at a home that satisfies all of the needs.
On the other hand, a home that lacks some of your basic needs should be struck from your list of potential options as it will only muddy the water and, in the worst case, result in your purchasing the wrong home.