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.”