Your Dream Home Wish List: Consider what you can and can’t do without
Hoping to Buy Your Dream Home? Your Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer want to make your dream come true, but be prepared to make at least a few compromises.
You’ve “done the math” and have a pretty good idea of what you can afford to offer for your new home. But is your Wish List just in your head, or have you actually put on paper all the things that will make This Home your Dream Home? When your answer is “Yes,” the next step is to come up with a ranking system, just in case all of the things on your Wish List aren’t wrapped up into one house that falls within your budget.
You can make up your own system, but a scale like this could get you started:
5 = Deal Breaker; 4 = Heart Breaker; 3 = Really Want It; 2 = Could Go Either Way; 1 = First to Cut
Now, simplify your list by organizing your wishes into categories. Ranking each item in the category can help you decide the importance of the category, too. You’ve heard it before—there are only 3 things to consider: Location, Location, Location—so let’s start there.
Location: You may have fallen in love with the look of a certain neighborhood, perhaps near work, family or friends. Think deeper! Consider how important it will be to you if this location:
- Is near to public transportation, the airport, a major highway, shopping areas
- Has schools that rank high in the areas where you want your kids to excel
- Includes families with or without children, depending on your situation
- Has a great view or is near to scenic recreation areas
Home Type: Do you have your heart set on a certain type of home; for example, single-family, condominium, townhome? If the style of home you want is within your chosen location, how important is:
- The minimum or maximum age of the home
- The architectural style: Ranch, 2-story, Cape Cod, Colonial, Victorian, Mid-century, Stone & Stucco, etc.
- The current condition and an immediate move-in vs. the need to renovate
Square footage and number of rooms: The make-up of this category could contain the most “deal breakers,” but how you plan to use the rooms may change over time, so consider your family’s needs now and in the future:
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Open floor plan with kitchen and living area combined
- Eat-in Kitchen &/or formal living and dining rooms
- Family room &/or entertainment center
- Laundry room size and location
- Garage and outdoor living areas
Décor: You’ve found the style of house you want with a location you love and the number of rooms you need, but when you walk in the door, do you have to love what you see, or are you able to afford and open to some upgrading of:
- Flooring: wood, carpet, tile
- Kitchen cabinets & countertops
- Fireplace: gas or wood-burning
- Heating & cooling systems
Okay, you have a list with any additional preferences you are hoping for and a column for where each one falls on your ranking scale. Talk to a Citywide Loan Officer about prequalifying for a loan on a home that fits your budget and includes most of the highest ranking wishes on your list. Then let us help you find a realtor who specializes in homes like the one you’re looking for. With these two experts on your team, you’ll be set to find the home of your dreams.