Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer

Since the number of homes for sale is low today, finding one that checks all your boxes can be challenging. Balancing your wants and needs as a homebuyer is integral to beginning your house hunting journey. If you know which features are essential in your next home and which ones are just nice bonuses, you can land a home that fits your needs.

So how do you go about creating your list of desired features? The first step is to get pre-approved for your mortgage. Pre-approval helps you better understand your budget, and that plays an important role in how you’ll craft your list. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s too far out of reach. Once you have a good grasp of your budget, you can begin to list all the features of a home you would like.

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


If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle. Some examples of must-haves for homebuyers are the distance from work or loved ones and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.


In today’s hot market, there is a good chance that you will have to compromise on some of your more desired amenities. These are features that you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves aren’t deal-breakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender.

Dream State

The dream state 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.

Finally, once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your real estate advisor. They’ll be able to help you refine the list further, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your needs.