Know Your Wants and Your Needs Before Buying a Home in Norfolk

House huntingWhen you are ready to begin looking for homes for sale in Norfolk, you need to be strategic. Preparing for the house hunting process is essential to be competitive in a market with low inventory and affordability challenging. To prepare for buying a home, connect with a lender to get pre-approved, choose a real estate agent you can trust, and make a thorough list of your wants and needs. 

Being clear about your must-haves, your deal-breakers, and your wish list features will help you quickly and confidently make decisions as you begin looking at specific properties. Take the time to differentiate items on your wish list into two categories: wants and needs. 

Make a List

Start by making a list of everything you would like your home to have, creating a comprehensive list of your wants and needsConsider factors such as location, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, architectural style, yard size, amenities, and any specific requirements like a home office or a garage.

Prioritize the List

Review your list and prioritize your must-haves. These are the non-negotiable features or aspects that you cannot compromise on. For example, if you work from home, having a dedicated office space might be a top priority. By identifying and prioritizing these key features, you can focus your search on homes that meet your essential needs.

As you identify must-haves, consider your lifestyle and your future plans. None of us has a crystal ball, but you can likely make some educated guesses about how long you will live in the home and how that might affect which features should be prioritized. For example, if you plan to welcome an elderly parent into the home in the near future, a private and separate living space might be a priority. Likewise, having plenty of space to entertain might be a top priority if that is a critical part of your lifestyle. 

Be Clear about Your Budget

Establishing a realistic budget is essential in determining your wants and needs. Take into account your financial situation, including your income, savings, and future expenses. Consider the upfront costs of purchasing a home, such as the down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses. Also, factor in ongoing expenses like mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. Understanding your budget will help you prioritize features that align with your financial capacity. 

Evaluate Your Long-Term Goals

Consider your long-term goals when determining your wants and needs. Are you planning to stay in the home for a few years or for the long term? If you're planning to start a family or accommodate a growing family, you may need to prioritize additional bedrooms or a larger yard. If you're nearing retirement, you may prefer a smaller, low-maintenance property.

Perhaps you have house-hacking or another real estate investment strategy in mind and you need to choose a property that will be an appealing rental home in the future. Understanding your long-term goals will ensure that the home you choose aligns with your future plans.

Be Flexible and Open to Compromise

While it's important to have a clear vision of your wants and needs, it's also essential to be flexible and open to compromise. Rarely will you find a home that checks off every single item on your list. Be willing to prioritize and make trade-offs based on what's most important to you. The more time you spend considering your must-haves in a home, the more strategic you can be about making compromises when you need to. Remember that you can always make cosmetic changes to a property, but it's challenging to change its fundamental features or location.

Ready to begin the search for your home in Norfolk? Contact us any time. 

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