I strongly believe in functional design. To me, that means that the design serves me. It has to work for me and how I live my life. The same principle should be applied to where you live: it has to satisfied your needs, which are defined by your current lifestyle and future plans.
In our first post, I talked about how to define those needs and highly recommended to not just list them but to prioritize them as well. Yes, take some time to number them. Separate them by top, medium and low priority and once you have finished, write down your reasons, or your whys, besides each one of those needs. Doing so is an excellent self-analysis; consider it a retrospective exercise to determine if your list of priorities is based on real needs or on something you liked on Pinterest. Those reasons will also ground your search and your realtor will appreciate a client that knows what they want right from the beginning.
As you start touring homes and comparing features you had not previously considered, your mind will start shifting and adding things to your “ABSOLUTELY NEED TO HAVE IT” list. Does this mean that you can’t change your priorities? Absolutely not. Flexibility will play a role, but if you did your homework right, if you identified what you really need and WILL need in years to come, then that list will help you navigate back to YOU. Allow me to explain.
The painful truth about home buying is that it is very hard to find a house that will fulfill your needs, dreams and yes, your budget, all at the same time. Unless you are building your house from scratch and have an architect deliver your vision, chances are that, as a First-Time Homebuyer, you will be looking at homes already built either new or previously owned. What are the odds of finding everything you have been dreaming of in one house? Slim! The good news is once you realize that, you will be prepared to compromise according to needs. So, enter the “home buyers’ territory” with caution.
There will be homes that will not satisfy your top priority but will perfectly match your priorities No. 2, 3 and 4. Others will fulfill your top 3, but you may need to renovate or its location may not be what you prefer. As you make these critical decisions, faced with the need to sacrifice some items in your list, knowing your whys will reduce the stress during the selection process.
My ‘little’ family of 7 moved to different parts of the continent 6 times in 27 years. Every single time, my mind wondered if we were doing the right thing. It wasn’t until we started contemplating our last move that we sat down and talked about the reasons why we would move or stay. The reasons were soon very clear to us and worth the move to Calgary, Canada, even though we were comfortable in Panama, had our own company, a house we loved, family around and yes, the beach one hour away. So, we packed our house and took the plunge. The same plunge we had taken 5 other times, but this time was different: we had clearly defined goals and we knew our whys.
The story doesn’t end there because, as expected, winter came and with it, the cold winds from the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Every time we get asked the same question you are probably wondering too: “Why are you here in Canada when you could be at the beach in Panama?” Even my own husband contemplates moving back every single winter without failing. What keeps us here, besides the fact that it is a beautiful, welcoming country? Our clearly defined goals. Those still stand! The weather, job shortages, the economy do not change them. They stand because we had clarity of mind when we chose to fly across 6 countries.
Do you see what I am trying to say here? Clearly defined goals or clearly prioritized needs will keep you centered. And trust me, when you start touring homes, you want to be centered. You want to be on the same page. You want to stay focused. You want to know why you are choosing a location over another or an undeveloped basement over the bonus room. Our Free Guide contains a worksheet to help you organize your thoughts and make your property shopping more meaningful. Start your home buying journey with the right foot.