It can be an exciting endeavour to shop for one of your largest investments. However, before getting carried away with a list of dream features, it is best to define what it is that you want in a home versus what it is that you actually need. After some contemplation, you may find that the ideal home for you and your family is not what you initially thought it would be.

Here are a few considerations to help you determine whether you are looking for a property with the right mindset:

Divide your list into “Needs” & “Wants”

A great way to organise your thoughts is to put pen to paper. Create a list with two columns – one for wants and the other for needs. The needs column should include elements such as location, school zones, neighbourhood, budget, the number of bedrooms, features and amenities, plumbing and electrical that are updated, stand size, the number of garage spaces, Home Owner’s Association and Body Corporate details where applicable. The wants column is for the aspects regarded as nonessentials such as the specific style of the home, renovated kitchen or bathrooms, deck, swimming pool, hot tub, flooring material, fireplace or wood stove, window material and landscaping.

Discuss the matter with other family members

Studies have shown that the size and layout of the home can have an impact on the relationship between its occupants, so be sure to consider how you and your family want to live in the home. If the home is being purchased for more than just one person, consult with those who will be living there so that everyone is in agreement on what it a “need” and what is a “want”.

Consider your future plans

A major consideration is how long you plan to stay in the property. This aspect in itself can have a massive impact on your needs and wants. If you are planning on staying in the home for five years or longer, you should think about possible upcoming life changes such as having a baby. While the home may not currently have an extra bedroom, could it be added onto to meet your future needs?

Be prepared to compromise

Searching for a new home and going through the buying process can be exhausting. However, being realistic will ease your mind and reduce stress. It is best to take a step back and ask what truly makes you happy. The answer to that question will be unique to everyone. Be prepared to compromise on wants if necessary. Spend time defining your lifestyle and what you could forgo to be happy in your home.

Final Thoughts
While buying a dream home is a good aspiration to have, it is more important to buy the right home. To help you create your own property wishlist, CLICK HERE to download our free property wishlist template.