Know Your Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves to Avoid Overspending

Shopping for a home is an exciting adventure! With all the excitement, clear decision-making can become murky and lead to unexpected costs.

Coming back to the ABCs, your wants and needs will lead you to the right home at the right price that will give you the best life with functional room for growth. The key: you don’t have to have “everything” to “have it all.” Here’s an exercise to keep you aligned with your goals prior to the journey ahead.

Create your list. Take time to get clear with yourself about this big decision. Make a list of everything you could possibly want in your home. Big or small. Long or short. If coupled, your counterpart is included in this exercise.

Order of importance. Next, force yourself to rate each of these facets on your list in numerical order. Ideally, limit these to your top 10.

Divvy it up. There are two types of items on your current list: those that are “heavyweights” and those that are aesthetic. Keep reading for more.

Heavyweights. Anything that includes number of bedrooms, windows, “open floor plan,” “dedicated space for …” and the like are the staples that can’t change without a major investment. These are the items that take priority in your search for a home to avoid costly renovations.

Aesthetic. Subway tile, shiplap, paint colors, lighting … these things can be easily upgraded or changed to suit your style (or even DIYed). Remove these items entirely from your list(s).

Prisoner’s dilemma. This might sound harsh, but it’s the last and final step in getting very clear with your wants and needs moving forward. What can you absolutely not live without? And on the same note, what aspects of your new home will help you thrive best? We know it’s hard, but do another forced reranking of these “must-haves.”

Trust your list. Excellent job! You’ve done the prep work. Now, remember to trust yourselves. Share this list with us so we can better assist you in finding your perfect match. As long as you’ve honestly invested yourself in this exercise, you’ll know exactly when you’ve met “the one.”

6 Ways to Turn Your Backyard into a Summer Oasis

At last! Summertime is around the corner, and you can make the most of it by enhancing your outdoor living spaces. With a little thought and planning, you can create your own personal backyard oasis. Here are some ideas.

1. If you don’t have a deck or patio, build one. Not only does this addition give you a great place for gatherings and grilling, in Remodeling Magazine‘s Cost vs. Value report, the statistics show that such an improvement yields a return on your investment of more than 75 percent.

2. Creating attractive privacy screens can easily be accomplished by incorporating fences, trellises and shrubbery around your outdoor deck or patio.

3. Pests can ruin a great time outdoors, so use preventive measures such as citronella candles and employ a pest control company that can spray your yard for unwanted crawling and flying insects.

4. Create a living space with comfortable outdoor furniture for lounging and dining. Be sure to include area rugs for color and for defining spaces.

5. Well-placed lighting will extend your outdoor experience well into the evening and create a great mood. Tiki torches, string lights and landscape lighting all contribute to the ambiance.

6. Keep it fun and include a fire pit, hot tub or game set for the kids.

Creating the perfect summer oasis will add value to your home and attract more buyers. When you start planning your project, contact us if you would like our professional input. We are here to assist you in the decision-making.