Skip to intro (before main) Skip to main content

Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer Today

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the difference between your needs and your wants is a critical step in purchasing your home
  • Knowing how much you’re pre-approved for is essential to determining your needs and your wants
  • Our team knows how to help you focus on what matters most – contact us!

With demand in today’s hot housing market battling historic low inventories of available supply, finding a home that checks all your boxes can be challenging. But if you know the difference between your non-negotiable needs and your more-desirable wants, you can find your perfect home.

How to find the right balance for your budget and your dreams

Happy couple imagining interior of new house on moving day

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for, explains it like this:

“Focus on the goal you set out for yourself, like your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and your budget, . . . Stick to that. Be persistent.”

The first step to creating your needs vs wants list is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Pre-approval will help you better understand your budget, and that plays an essential role in how you’ll craft your list. Once you have a good grasp of your budget, you can begin to list all the features that a home must have in order to even be considered.

Here’s a great way to think about them before you start:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples include distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, space for pets, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without having. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves as well as some nice-to-haves, it’s a contender (examples include having a second home office, a garage, etc.).
  • Dream State – This is where you can think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget with all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples include farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Finally, once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discussing it with your real estate advisor is the next step. A good agent will be able to help you refine your list even further, coach you through the best ways to stick to it, and will find you a home in your desired area that meets your needs.

Let’s Make Your Dreams Come True

Crafting your home search checklist may seem like a small task, but it will save you time and money. It’s also one of the keys to finding success in today’s competitive housing market. Let’s connect so we can work together to find a home that meets your needs, as well as some of your wants! 

Leave a Reply

Explore Triangle Areas