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First-Time-Buyer Friday #2 – Needs vs Wants

house-shoppingQ. There are lots of potential homes in my price range. How can I narrow down the field so I don’t waste time viewing homes I really have no interest in buying?

A. Many first time buyers are hit with this problem. Often, because they’re just starting out and want to make sure they don’t miss any potential homes, they search REALTOR.ca for all homes under a certain price level, and go from there. This is what I would call a shotgun approach. Sometimes, a buyer will get so many results it’s overwhelming. So an exercise I like to have my first time buyers do is the Needs vs Wants Inventory.

It’s simple really. Just take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns, one entitled Needs, and the other Wants. Then think of all the home features or attributes of your lifestyle and put them in the appropriate column. For example, if you have pets and intend on taking them with you to your new home, then obviously “pets” goes on the needs side.

If you like stainless steel appliances, but are willing to cope with harvest gold, then that goes in the wants column. Thinking about this further, you could put the commute time to work in both columns. Put the maximum commute time you’d allow on the needs side, and the ideal commute time on the wants side.

Continue down the page and you should be able to come up with a pretty good summary of what you’re looking for. Talk to an agent and ask him or her to search for listings that match your criteria. This will really help narrow it down and will ensure that you find a home that will be the perfect balance between what you really need and what you want.

If you’re a first- second- or twenty-time buyer and have a question you’d like answered, contact me and I’ll get you a prompt, accurate response!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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