Buying Property – How to narrow down what you want in a home

Before you can find the perfect home, you need to know exactly what you are looking for – and as you may come across desirable homes that include only a few of the features on your list, you need to know which features are the most important to you. As a further complication, you will generally be working on this list with your partner, who may have different priorities to you!

So how do you work out what you are looking for in a home?

Identify the “needs” and the “wants”
Write your list of desirable features while your partner does the same. Hopefully, your lists will tally fairly closely!
Now divide the list into two separate columns – “needs” and “wants.” The “needs” list could include anything from “must be walking distance to school” to “must be accessible for wheelchair.” The minimum number of bedrooms may be non-negotiable, although you may be prepared to negotiate on the number of bathrooms or whether the kitchen has been recently renovated.

Two important items to include on your “needs” list are the size and location of the property. This is an essential starting point because this is the information that will give you a rough idea of the price of your future home. If you realise that the price of a property that size is unattainable for your budget in your desired location, then you need to reconsider either size or location.

Negotiating the “wants”
Once you have pinpointed a suitable location for your future home, you can start looking at properties that meet the other “needs” on your list. This is when the search for a home can become difficult for couples, particularly if they are looking at the future home from different perspectives. One partner might be more preoccupied with the level of renovation or maintenance required, while the other partner could be concerned about whether it is a family-friendly home, particularly if this partner stays home all day with children.

You can minimise stress by “window shopping” for houses online before going out together to view houses. Looking at photos online is a more clinical way to appraise whether a house meets your respective needs and wants, and can cut down on the number of houses you agree to view directly.

Avoid burn out and regret
It’s important to agree that if one partner says “No, absolutely not,” then the house is off the list. A family home is a huge financial and emotional investment and you don’t want to compromise your future by rushing into a situation that will make one partner unhappy or uncomfortable. However, it’s also important to check that neither of you has burnt out from looking at houses – to the point where even the perfect house looks bad! If it is too difficult to find the house of your dreams, your best option is to take a break for a few months, build some more equity and then when you are both refreshed and enthusiastic, start the search again.

Contact us today if you are looking for independent advice or assistance in searching for your new home

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