The Perfect Blend: Balancing Wants and Needs for Your Dream Home This Spring
Though there are more homes for sale now than there were at this time last year, there’s still an undersupply with fewer houses available than in more normal, pre-pandemic years. The Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com puts it this way:
“While the number of homes for sale is increasing, it is still 43.2% lower than it was before the pandemic in 2017 to 2019. This means that there are still fewer homes available to buy on a typical day than there were a few years ago.”
In the current housing market with limited inventory, it's crucial for buyers to approach their home search with a strategic mindset. Understanding the difference between necessities and nice-to-haves can help buyers be more successful in finding their ideal home.
Identifying your must-haves is essential to focus your search on properties that meet your most critical needs. These might include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, proximity to work or schools, and essential features that are non-negotiable for your lifestyle. Prioritizing these necessities will help you streamline your search and avoid wasting time on properties that don't meet your core requirements.
While it's natural to have a wishlist of desirable features, it's essential to be realistic about what you can find in the current market. Nice-to-haves might include features like a swimming pool, a large backyard, or a gourmet kitchen. While these amenities can add value and enjoyment to a home, being flexible on these aspects can significantly expand your options and improve your chances of finding a suitable property.
Working closely with a knowledgeable real estate agent can be instrumental in guiding you through the process. An experienced agent will help you navigate the current market conditions, understand what's available within your budget, and provide valuable insights into properties that meet your criteria.
By staying focused on your necessities and remaining open to possibilities, you can approach your home search with a sense of clarity and adaptability. In today's competitive housing market, being well-prepared and decisive can make all the difference in finding the right home for you and securing it in a timely manner.
The first step? Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval helps you better understand what you can borrow for your home loan, and that plays an important role in how you’ll put your list together. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s out of reach. Once you have a good grasp on your budget, the best way to prioritize all the features you want and need in a home is to put together a list.
Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:
- Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle.
- Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender.
- Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner.
Finally, once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your real estate agent. They’ll be able to help you refine the list further, coach you through the best ways to stick to it and find a home in your area that meets your needs.
Prioritizing what you need in a home is a critical first step in the buying process. If you’re ready to find the one that’s best for you, let’s connect.