There is a difference between what need and what they want. The first describes a necessity. For instance, if someone is in a wheelchair, they need a wheelchair accessible home. When describing wants, those are characteristics which are part of the dream. For instance, I want a property with an in-ground pool. This is a want, not a necessity.
Choosing the right home, the right neighborhood and the perfect layout can quickly become overwhelming. It doesn't have to be if you journal your thoughts and think about what the most important factors you want in your new home are.
As a realtor, often our first question to a buyer is, “What do you need?” The second question will be, “What do you want?” Frequently, buyers will give to same answer to both questions and do not realize there is a difference.
The reason for a move often dictates the type of property you need. Are you a first-time home buyer? Are you being transferred for business reasons? Do you want to be close to school, transportation, family? How many people will be living in the house? Do you want property to maintain, or would you prefer to have a condo or co-op where the maintenance is included?
If you are getting ready to move, consider your needs and your wants. Make two columns on a piece of paper and really give it some thought before you speak with a Realtor.
Now let's talk about "wants" category. First, take a look at the way you are accustomed to living. If you entertain regularly, then you will need to focus on a house with a formal dining room and kitchen, or possibly a backyard patio and pool. If you don't see this playing a major role in your activities, then turn your attention to alternative interests. A rec room? An area for garaging a collection of cars? Features on your list of wants are things you can compromise on. For instance, perhaps your dream home does not currently include the wine cellar you envisioned, but there is the potential to add one later. A wine cellar is a want, not a need.
As you can see, the division between wants and needs may vary significantly between different individuals based on their plans for the future and how much they can afford. This is a good time to do some serious analysis on what the future should look like for you, so you can go about making it come true. Setting your priorities is a key part of the process. Then when you get the list firmly in mind, it's time to get going and make it happen!
Without mentioning your needs and wants, finding a home is certain to become a fruitless journey. You may never find the “right” home for you and wonder why. The entire process will frustrate you, and you might find yourself settling after never finding “the one.” Instead, give yourself a chance to think about what you really need, and what you really would like to have.