How to Create a Home-Buying Wish List

Prior to starting your new home search, it’s important to have a clear idea of what home features are most important to you and your family. From hardwood floors to open-concept layouts to the size of your backyard, pinpointing what you want and don’t want in your next home is the first step of this process.

Instead of simply jotting down things you’d like, ask yourself specific questions, particularly focused on your day-to-day living and how certain home features will keep you and your family comfortable at home for years to come. Start by thinking of your current home, how it affects you and what it’s missing. Here’s a list of questions to get you started:

Interior Space and Features

  • Do you have enough space? Could you use more or less, and where?
  • Do you have an open-concept floor plan or separate rooms? Does it suit your lifestyle?
  • How many stories do you have? Would a single or multi-story home be better?
  • How many windows do you have and what size? Do you want more natural light?
  • Do you have enough bedrooms? Bathrooms?
  • Do you have a dedicated spare room for an office, playroom, laundry room, etc? Is this something you need or want?
  • What type of flooring do you have? Does it work for your lifestyle, family and/or pets?
  • Do you like the features, fixtures and finishes? What would you change and why?

Exterior Experience

  • Do you have an outdoor space? Is it too large or too small?
  • Do you have a patio or deck? Would one or the other, or neither, best suit your lifestyle?
  • If you have an outdoor space, do you spend time there? How do you use it?
  • How much time and effort is put toward your yard’s upkeep (mowing, gardening, ect)? Do you enjoy/can you afford the maintenance?
  • Is your parking suitable? Do you need a large driveway or garage?

Community Connections

  • Do you like your current neighborhood, including neighbors, noise level, activities, etc?
  • Do you have to travel far for work, grocery shopping or doctor’s appointments? Do these commutes fit your lifestyle?
  • Do you live in a small, close-knit community or a large, highly populated city? Which would be better for your family?
  • Are you close to good schools? Are there enough educational resources for your children?

After you review each question thoroughly in regards to your current home, you’ll be better able to determine what does and doesn’t work for you, your family and your lifestyle. Ask yourself these final questions before you share your wishlist with your agent:

  • What is your current home’s best quality? What is its worst quality?
  • Do you like the style of your current home? Is there another architectural style that you prefer?
  • Is the size of your current home right for you? Would you like to downsize or increase your space and number of rooms?
  • What is your favorite room in your current home and why? Least favorite?
  • What is the most important feature you are looking for in your next home and why?

By referencing your current home and what you like and dislike about it, you can more easily determine what you want in a new home. Before you know it, you’ll have a detailed wish list to share with your real estate agent to begin your home search. These questions can also help you determine things you may need or want to change before selling to ensure you get the best offer.

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