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Home Buying – Step 3, Determine your Needs and Wants

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Now that you’ve met with your Mortgage Lender you know how much house you can afford. But maybe the first part of your needs and wants analysis when it comes to purchasing your next house is – how much of a payment are you comfortable with? Many of the home buyers I work with will establish this parameter first and then depending on what they can find in available houses for sale at that price range will adjust accordingly.

Remember you are moving for a reason. That reason should be your main “need.” Is it just to stop paying rent? Is your family growing and you need more yard space and an extra bedroom? Or maybe you are having problems with the stairs and need single-level living. Whatever the reason, these “needs” are what your next home needs to provide. So establish them first.

Everybody has things they want in their next house. Stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops seems to be a common want. Home on a cul-de-sac, finished basement, three-car garage, master suite are some others. Remember that all your wants may not be available at your price range so it’s a good idea to rank them in importance.

It is very rare that homes available for sale will fill every want. Remember the reason you are moving and fill that need first. Invariably there will have to be compromise and trade-offs. Do you get the master suite, or the school district you want? Does the home allow you enough room in your budget for remodeling? Talk to your Realtor and get their ideas on how to best balance your needs and wants with your budget. They can also offer important insights on which market locations will offer homes that most closely match.

Once you’ve thought all these factors through and discussed them with your Realtor, you are ready to start looking at available homes for sale – Step 4.

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