It’s hard to believe that I started the official house hunting process 6 months ago and have been a homeowner for just over 4 months. Holy cow this year has FLOWN by! The home buying process was a crazy roller coaster and I have SO much to share with you guys about it!
Today I want to talk about wants vs. needs when house hunting. Because honestly, the two can start to blur together. The #1 thing you need to do before you even start looking at houses is figure out your priorities. What are absolute must haves and what could you live without? Are there any deal breakers?
I started with my basic list but then quickly readjusted once I started actually going to look at houses in person. Because things I thought were just a want, ended up being a need – like a fenced in yard for my pup. Ultimately, my list ended up looking like this:
- Need: 3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, appliances included, fenced in yard, in budget, garage
- Want: Pool, bonus room, specific area of town, nook, closet organization, upgrades
- Deal Breaker: Lots of work, small secondary bedrooms
It’s rare that you’re going to get every single thing on your want AND need list (unless you’re building from scratch), so prioritizing really helps! Plus, it seems like houses are flying off the market pretty quickly everywhere, so knowing what you want is key!
To help with the process, I used my favorite resources, Redfin and Zillow, to keep tabs on the houses on the market. The best part? Setting filters in the mobile app based on what I was looking for, which were primarily price range, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and area of town.
Since I knew my search was serious and that I wanted to find something before the apartment lease was up, I also enabled push notifications so anytime a new house went up within the parameters that I set up, I’d be notified. It was using this method that I ended up finding, loving, and buying my first home!
If you’re wondering, my house doesn’t include everything on the wants and needs list. And that’s ok. My needs (the most important) were all met, and I did get lucky with several of my “wants” as well!
What are your wants, needs, and deal breakers for a house?