Identifying your Wants vs. Needs

Buying a home is an exciting and significant decision, but it can also be overwhelming. One of the most important considerations is deciding between wants and needs. It can be challenging to differentiate between the two, but understanding the difference is crucial to making the right choice. In this article, we will discuss how to decide between wants and needs when buying a home.

First and foremost, it’s essential to define what wants and needs are. Needs are the essentials that a home must have, such as a roof over your head, adequate living space, and basic amenities like electricity, water, and heat. On the other hand, wants are non-essential features that would be nice to have, but are not necessary. These could include a large backyard, a swimming pool, or a gourmet kitchen.

Once you have a clear understanding of wants and needs, the next step is to make a list of each. Start by listing your needs first and then move on to your wants. Be sure to prioritize your needs over your wants. For example, a two-bedroom home might be a need if you have a family of four, while a home with a home theater might be a want. If there is more than one person making the decision to buy, it’s important to have these conversations early to decide which wants and needs should be prioritized over the others. This saves time when looking at homes later if certain homes meet the needs of one family member, but not the other’s. 

When making your list, also consider the location of the home. Location is crucial as it will affect your daily commute, access to essential amenities, and the overall quality of life. Determine what your must-have location features are and prioritize them accordingly. For example, a home located near good schools might be a need if you have children, while a home close to nightlife might be a want.

Another critical factor to consider when deciding between wants and needs is your budget. Your budget will dictate what you can afford and what you cannot. You should prioritize your needs first, and then consider wants that are within your budget. Keep in mind that stretching your budget to accommodate wants can leave you financially strapped in the long run. Make sure that you have the conversation with everyone involved in the purchase to make sure that you’re all comfortable in the same price range. 

When touring homes, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose sight of your needs. Be sure to refer to your list and prioritize your needs during the house-hunting process. If you come across a home that has everything you need, but lacks a few wants, consider how you could incorporate those wants into the home after purchase. For example, you could add a swimming pool or upgrade the kitchen at a later date.

Deciding between wants and needs when buying a home is crucial. Knowing the difference and prioritizing your needs will ensure that you make the right choice for your family and budget. Keep in mind that while wants are nice to have, they should not take priority over your needs. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream home.