Searching for a new house is a full-time job in some cities. Finding a home that meets your list of needs and wants while staying in budget can be difficult. Here are some common “can’t live without” items and other popular wants to consider when shopping for a home.
Needs and Wants List: Dishwasher
Whether you are trying to save time, money, or the planet, dishwashers are the way to go. If you are looking at a home without a dishwasher, try to get that added in as a contingency or ask for a discount to cover the cost of adding one yourself.
Needs and Wants List: Washer/Dryer Hookups
Like a dishwasher, most modern homes have space for laundry in either a dedicated laundry room or a closet. However, older and smaller homes, particularly condos, may not have them.
Some homes come with the washer and dryer included in the price, and others don’t. That is something you can negotiate in a final agreement. However, if the home does not have hookups, that can be a big expense and might be a reason to keep looking at other options.
Needs and Wants List: Garage
If you live somewhere with cold, snowy winters or incredibly hot summers, a garage makes getting into your car a much more comfortable experience. In addition, a garage can make room for additional storage.
Adding a garage to a home is a major expense, if you even have the space to do so. A covered carport is a decent substitute, but not nearly as good as the real thing.
If you live in an urban area, street parking can be a nightmare, so this can be more than just a minor convenience. Sometimes, a garage is the difference between a deal or no deal.
Needs and Wants List: Office
If you are self-employed or have the option to work from home, a home office can be a great feature in a home. And, depending on your profession and needs, it could be a deal breaker.
In many cases, a spare bedroom, loft, or den can be used as a home office, but those sometimes come without a door for extra sound proofing and privacy. When you are making your list of home needs, make sure to consider a home office.
Needs and Wants List: Man Cave
The “Man Cave” is becoming a popular feature for homes, giving the man of the house space to watch the big game, play video games, enjoy a hobby, or spend time with friends.
Of course, this feature is typically only available in larger homes, as the space can act as an additional family room or living room. A basement – finished or unfinished – can work for this as well.
Make Your List BEFORE Your Search Begins
Searching for a home is a lot of work when you know exactly what you want. Looking without a good list of must haves will just lead to wasted time and frustration.
After you pick your perfect real estate agent, work with them on a list of must haves, and include your budget in that discussion.