Determining Wants vs. Needs

Wants vs Needs When Buying a Home – Learning the Difference

Determining Wants vs. Needs

One of the first questions that a real estate agent will ask new buyers is, “What do you want in your new home”? It might seem like an easy question to answer but identifying your “wants’ from your “needs” is an important aspect of home seeking.


A need is something that is truly essential to how you and your family live. For instance, if you have a family of four, you truly can’t live in a studio-style apartment; bedrooms become a real need in house hunting. By contrast, while having an acre of land would be nice, do you truly have to have that much space in your yard?

Make a List

One way to focus your thought is to create a list of features and amenities that you would like to have in a new home. Prioritize this list starting with the essential (need) first and work your way down to the aspects that would be nice to have (want). Remember that you might live in this home for a number of years, so consider how your family will grow over the next few years and what needs might change.

Think about elements outside the house itself as well. Do you have school aged children, or will you? The location of the home might be a need as well. Commute times, recreation and services must also be included in the list of priorities

Home hunting is exciting; make sure you include your needs in your search so you don’t get distracted by a want instead.

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