It’s happened to the best of us: you turn up to a house inspection on the hunt for a modern two-bedder with parking, but find yourself so enamoured by the home’s soaring period ceilings that all your pre-considered requirements fly out the pretty sash windows.
Compiling a prioritised wishlist will help separate your needs from your wants, and keep you on track in the search for your dream home.
We’re not suggesting that manifestation is the answer to all your property aspirations, but visualisation is a savvy starting point. Envision your perfect home in all its glory – the size, the style, the suburb… Keep it semi-realistic (shelve your Tuscan villa pipedreams for now), but still think freely. This will help tap into your desires and get you thinking about how you want to live. Sure, ocean views may fall outside your budget, but perhaps you’d settle instead for easy access to a beach or bay. Scrawl down all your ideas to refer back to later.
Go back to basics
Now it’s time to reel it in. What are the absolutely essential requirements for your home and lifestyle? Important considerations are the minimum number of bedrooms, minimum number of bathrooms and minimum size. Other must-haves might include a garden or deck, off-street parking or an internal laundry. Location may be paramount – perhaps you want to be within walking distance of your children’s school – or maybe you have your heart set on a certain cluster of suburbs. Also consider liveability: is renovating an option, or are you keen to find a home and move straight in? List these non-negotiables on a sheet of paper.
Add the nice-to-haves
Below your must-haves, start noting down the features you deem appealing, but not essential. A walk-in wardrobe? You wouldn’t turn it down, but it’s not make or break. It might be the same for a pool. Interior features could also fall into this category – think hardwood flooring and stone countertops, as well as central air conditioning or a fireplace. Check in with your above-mentioned visualisation notes as you go, picking out the elements that are enticing, but also attainable.
Consult the experts
Finally, round out your list with a little expert intel. The agents at real estate organisation Century 21 will share some “value” items to consider tacking onto your list. As the name suggests, these are features that will add value to your property over time. Think a great bathroom, dual-pane windows, or close proximity to top schools. While these items shouldn’t take over your wants and wishes, they’re nevertheless worth keeping in mind as you navigate the inspection circuit (now armed with a handy priority list, so you never swerve off course again!)
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