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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Van Hal, REALTOR

Buying a Home? Balance Your Wants & Needs

There are so few homes for sale right now that it can be challenging to find one that checks all your boxes. But when you know which features are essential for your next home, and which ones are just nice extras, you can find the one that fits your lifestyle.

How do you create your list of desired features? Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step. The pre-approval process can help you better understand your budget, and that plays a key role in creating your list. You don't want to fall in love with a home that's out of your reach.

Once you have a clear understanding of your budget, you can write down all the features of a home you would like. Here's a terrific way to think of them:

  • Must-Haves If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (example: number of bedrooms and bathrooms). If you find a home that meets your Must-Haves, it's a contender.

  • Nice-To-Haves These are features you'd love to have, but you can live without (examples: three-stall garage, kitchen pantry). Lack of them isn't deal breakers.

  • Dream State Here is where you really think big. Again, these aren't features you'll need, but if you find a home within your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it should win your heart (examples: deck/patio, walk-in closet, fenced yard, etc.).

As soon as you've created your list and categorized it in a way that makes sense to you, discuss it with your real estate advisor. Working together, you and I can refine your list further. I'll coach you on how to stick to it, and we'll find a home in the FM metro area that meets your needs.

Bottom Line

Making a home search checklist may seem like a small thing, but it can save you a lot of time and money. In today's competitive market, it's also essential for success. Reach out to me so that we can find the right home together.


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