Look at it this way: buying your first home will culminate into a huge crock-pot of ideas, wishes, desires and fantasy. This is when all the things you have ever dreamed of as far as owning a home will boil to the surface. You will want it to be at the beach; you will want it to have a terrace that looks out into the sunset and you will want to have an Olympic size infinity pool as well as a fully stocked bar.
While all these things are nice, they are not necessarily what you need in a home. To make matters worse, you will probably be trying to come up with an all-inclusive list of ideas because you have to include your spouse in these brainstorming sessions.
Because of monetary constraints, you will probably not get an affordable house that meets your desired standards. It is therefore prudent to have a list of the acceptable ‘bare minimum’ requirements. Here are tips on how to narrow down what you want in your first home.
Differentiate between your needs and wants
Start by writing a long list of everything you would like the house to have in general. Once you have it all down, work to divide that list into two columns: needs and wants. Your needs will be things that are extremely important and essential to your day to day life such as:
- The house has to be near a good school for your kids.
- It has to be somewhere with excellent transportation options.
- It needs three bedrooms.
For the most part, the size and location of the home are important here. Once you have those two columns, you can begin working on the needs sections and only when you have all that down can you start working on the wants section.
Start negotiating the wants
Once you have your list of needs, you can begin shopping for homes within the desired location. You will find homes that meet the standards you require and many of them will only have a few of the line items on your ‘wants column’. This is where you and your spouse have to be on the same page.
Decide, based on how much you have to spend on the house, what kind of wants you are willing to give and which ones you can let go. Do not let your lavish desires come into play. Ensure that the house meets the minimum standards as per the needs list, and then start negotiating the wants.
Don’t rush it
As much as there are probably millions of houses on the market, it can be exceptionally difficult to find the right one. Do not make this a sprint. It is a marathon where you are allowed breaks. If both of you grow tired of looking at houses, feel free to take a break for a few weeks and refresh your eyes. You might even come up with better ideas for the needs list that will help to further clarify your priorities.
Also, it might be good for you to sign up for those free property-meets. Most people who go there are usually investors, rather than homebuyers. But that’s okay because they will be the ones who will know where to find properties near a school, or access to transportation etc. So if you are having a tough time finding “the house”, property meets are ideal places to fish for info.
I always recommend the Pin Meetings of Simon Zutshi and the Community Meet Ups of Rick Otton because they host multiple events each month in different locations, so it’s likely for you to sign up to an event near you.
Take your time to get this done properly. Buying a house is a huge investment; so don’t rush it.Tags: how to choose the right home, how to choose the right house, how to know the home for you