Eight Questions to Determine Your Home Needs and Home Wants

Last Updated on June 11, 2019 by

While finances arguably play the biggest role in home selection, knowing what you need and want drives the search for a new home

There are a number of considerations to make when searching for a new home, and being specific with what these are before you begin your house-hunting is paramount in helping you find the right residence sooner rather than later. These eight questions to ask yourself, compiled by Lamudi, will also save you the stress of being saddled with a property that later on you will realize does not quite address what you want or need.

1. Will I Buy or Rent?

While real estate is one of the most reliable investments there is, homeownership may not necessarily be the right step for you. It is always best to map out what the foreseeable few years will be like for you or your family. If you are ready to establish roots, then buying might be right for you. If you do not see yourself staying for more than three years, then renting might be your best bet. Remember that apart from your home’s value, you also pay associated processing fees and taxes as you buy, amounts that you may not gain back during only a year or two’s worth of property appreciation.

2. How Much Space Do I Need?

Irrespective of the type of real estate you intend to go for, square footage equals money, so it is paramount to know how much space you want, how much space you need, and how much you can actually afford. If you live alone, do you believe a studio apartment is enough, or do you need extra space for guests or to use as a home office? How about if you have family or roommates—how many rooms or bathrooms would suffice?

Apart from your indoor considerations, there is also an outdoor space to consider. Keep in mind factors such as having a yard for your present or future children and pets to play in, or satisfying your need to have a garden. Also, would one parking space be enough?

3. What Type of Neighborhood Do I Prefer?

The search for a new home is not limited to only finding a property to reside in, but also extends to where the said space is located. Are you looking for a place within proximity to numerous commercial centers? Or are you more inclined to live in a neighborhood that is laidback, low-density, and is more family-friendly?

Being specific with your preference not only helps you narrow down your area and property options, but it also allows you to make sure that the home you choose is what will fit you for the long term, and be a place that is easier for you and your family to get acclimatized to.

4. What Kind of Building Do I Want Live in?

The way a community is designed often dictates the type of home that is common within it. For example, most homes near the central business district are of the high-rise variety due to space limitations in these areas. Conversely, the more suburban neighborhoods are more accommodating to house and lots and townhouses. Hence, it is important to keep in mind the possibility of having to compromise. Prioritizing what you want or need more will ultimately sway your decision.

5. What Amenities Am I Looking for?

Homes have gone beyond just living spaces, as many developments nowadays include different amenities for their residents’ exclusive use. These do not just apply to condominiums, but can also be seen in new subdivisions and villages. Such amenities are often one of the main selling points for developers.

Whether you will buy or rent, a new residential development will likely have the basics: swimming pools, fitness centers, basketball courts, and the like. Keep in mind, however, that more amenities may mean higher selling prices or rental rates, and there may be additional fees for the use or maintenance of these facilities. So it is best to keep in mind the amenities you need, the ones you can make the most of, and those you could do without.

6. Are Pets Allowed?

Should you decide to buy a property, you will most likely look into whether the said property will allow pets. This is more common if you decide to buy a condo unit, where there are shared spaces between residents, and the homeowner association decides as a group whether pets will be allowed inside the condo building. Even though you do not plan to own a pet, it still makes sense to check, lest you find yourself stuck in a property where dogs and cats roam freely around.

7. What Home Orientation and Characteristics Do I Prefer?

There may be other aspects that are important to you with regard to your future home. If you are looking at a condo unit, are you okay with a bedroom window that faces another tower that not only limits your privacy but also blocks natural light? It if it were a house, would it bother you if your lot faces the busiest street in your neighborhood?

Even if it sometimes comes across as nitpicking, try to make sure that the home you find is facing the direction you want it to face, with rooms that do not get too hot under the sun, and with finishes that you like. A home is perhaps your biggest investment, and a good portion of your finances will be consumed by rent or maintenance, so you might as well try to get everything you want or need from the outset.

8. What Are the Trade-offs or Aspects I Am Willing to Compromise on?

How much do you want to invest in a home beyond the purchase price, whether in monetary terms or in sweat equity, if you cannot find exactly what you want? This is a likely scenario no matter how many properties for sale or for rent that you visit; even more so if you are working off a modest budget.

You’re making the biggest purchase of your life, so be specific with details such as the direction the building is facing and finishes you like. You’d save money on maintenance and improvement if you got each of your house requirement and preference right from the start.

Realistically, you may not find the property that offers everything discussed above especially if you need to find a house as soon as possible. So, ask yourself which among these eight are you willing to sacrifice. For example, you may find yourself signing up for a condo unit that allows pets but is situated on the other side of the sunrise. This would still make sense if you think it through and realize you spend more time outside during the day anyway. After determining your needs and wants in a house, identify then your negotiables and non-negotiables.

Sources: Zoopla, Realtor

Read our previous journal for more tips.


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