Wants vs Needs: When Purchasing a House

by Stacy Stone, Donna Dance & Darlene Renteria

Buying a house is likely to be the biggest purchase of your life. It is a time of mixed emotions that include excitement, nervousness, and perhaps uncertainty. However, when buying a house, being certain of some things such as negotiable and non-negotiable items can prepare you for a smoother home purchase ride. Here are some tips:

1. Be realistic about what you can afford

Remember you can always change or update your home little by little, but your neighborhood will always remain the same. You can change your house, but you cannot change your neighbors! If you are pondering between a fixer-upper in a really good neighborhood or a completely updated home in an OK neighborhood, opt for the fixer-upper. Think long term!

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2. Prioritize wants and needs

You may be drooling for the house that features a built in mini bar, walk-in closet, man cave, or oversized kitchen. However, these are items that could be on the want list, not the needs list. You may need a large backyard for the kids, two bathrooms instead of one, or a single story if someone has an issue climbing stairs. Many of the items on the want list could be added at a later time. Make sure the necessities come first.

3. Agree (with your partner)

Have a serious talk with your partner as to what absolutely has to hit the list and what items are negotiable. If there are things that you both disagree with, figure it out and come together with a game plan both of you agree with before viewing properties.

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4. Have a vision

The seller most likely does not have your exact style, so there will be things you will want to change about the house. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff such as paint colors as they can easily be changed to your preferred palette. If the house is cluttered, look beyond the mess and visualize the structure of the home. You may have an advantage that eliminates some of the competition if you can see past the small things.

5. Make a list

Create a list and be specific about your must-haves and can-do-withouts. It’s OK to change or revise the list along the way. You may notice from looking at houses some items become more important to you than you had previously thought, and other items don't seem as important when you first started looking. 

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Stacy, Donna, & Darlene work for Royal Homes and Loans, a real estate company located in Covina, CA. This real estate trio has a combined experience in the real estate field for well over twenty years. They specialize in assessing their client’s needs and providing extraordinary customer service. Any real estate inquiries are welcomed; contact “The Team” at stacyandtrevor@msn.com.


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