buying your first home - what you should know

The 3 Lists You Need To Help You Find The Perfect Single-Family Home For Your Family

When it comes to purchasing a home, you want to make sure you make the best choice possible. Purchasing a home is an emotional choice on some level, but it should also be a logical choice as well. Figuring out what you need from a home is the first step towards finding the right home for you.

Create Your Priority List

The first thing you are going to do is create your priority list of features that are non-negotiable under any circumstances. These are the things that a house has to have for you to even consider looking at it, let alone buying it.

Your priority list should not be very long. Ideally, you are going to want to keep this list to under five items so that it is not too challenging to find a home that fits your criteria. These should be things such as the number of bedrooms, the location the home is located on, or the size of the garage.

These should be things that you can't easily modify without spending a lot of money. For example, the right paint color or type of flooring shouldn't be on the list as those are two things you can easily change. A home that is on an acre lot, however, isn't something you can change once you purchase the home. Or depending on the lot size, you may not be able to add onto the home.

Create Your Nice-to-Have List

The second list you are going to create is your nice-to-have list. This list has things that you would like a home to have, but don't have to have in order for you to purchase the home. This list can include things that are easily changeable but you hope you don't have to change.

For example, maybe you really want a home with wood floors in the kitchen. You would buy a home without wood floors in the kitchen, but it would be really nice to find a home that already has wood floors. This list should be more about the cosmetics and the layout of the home.

Create Your Upgrade List

Your upgrade lists are things that are cosmetic that you absolutely want to have in your home but can change yourself. You want to have an upgrade list so that you can quickly see what upgrades you would have to make to a home you are interested in, and determine if you could still afford the home after making the upgrades.

For example, paint colors, flooring, countertop materials, and appliances are things that should go on this list.  

Using Your Lists

Don't even look at properties that don't meet your priority list. Use your nice-to-have list to help you narrow down the properties you are interested in purchasing, and use your upgrade list to see what a home would really cost you if you purchased it and make the upgrades you want to make to the home. These lists should help you sort through the homes on the market and focus on the homes that fit your needs.

For information about single-family homes for sale in your area, contact a real estate agent.