Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

11 Steps to Buying the Home That's Right for You – Step 1: Decide On Your Needs

list-small.jpgIf you’re following allong with my series on selling a house, Step 1 likely has a very familiar ring to it. Before you set out to do anything you really need to take a moment to sit down and make a list.
If you’re following along, grab a pen. Grab a piece of paper. And write down this question, “Why do I want to buy a home?”
At this point, your answers don’t need to be very well defined. Answers such as “I hate my landlord,” “I want a dog,” “I want to get a tax break” are all a good start. List all of your reasons. Every last one of them. Is “I hate white walls” on your list? Write it down. How about “I want to start a family.” Write it down. Over the next several days, keep adding to your list, and subtracting from it if you change your mind about certain items.
Now, if you’re still followig along, flip that piece of paper over, and if you’ve still got room, write this question down, “What do I want in a home?” Next to that write “What do I need in a home?” And leave room for just one more question, “What do I know I don’t want in a home?” Brainstorm here folks. Make the lists long. Think about architectural styles, San Francisco neighborhoods, views, outdoor space, number of bedrooms, the condition of a place (fixer upper? or move in ready?), carpet, hardwood floors, place for an office, place for a ping pong table, etc., etc., etc. And again, over the next several days, keep working on your list. Move things from your “wants” column to your “needs” column, cross things off your “definitely can’t live with” column. This isn’t the time to be flexible (you’ll have to be later when you’re buying a place, but we’ll eventually get to that down the line in step 4 or so of the buying process.)
So now that you’ve got your lists together… what’s next? In a few days, we’ll talk about Step 2 of the 11 Steps to Buying the Home That’s Right for You: How to Pick a REALTOR®. And while would love to think that every one of you reading this will call me tomorrow to let me help you buy your home, the reality of it is that not every REALTOR® is right for every buyer. I’ll give you some advice on how to determine which real estate agent is right for you. So stay tuned!