Written by: Olivia Forgette
With spring in full swing, you may be thinking about making a real estate move. Whether you’re looking to downsize, upsize, or hunt for a location that better suits your needs, it’s natural to want to create a wishlist for your next home. In fact, your real estate professional who will be helping you hunt for your new property will likely ask you for a wishlist.
Look no further for our top tips and tricks on how to create a wishlist for your next humble abode. A wishlist helps to ensure you’re upgrading for exactly what you and your family needs.
Where to start?
A great place to start when creating a future home wishlist is by thinking about what you do not like about your current home.
Do you find yourself wishing for more kitchen counter space? Are you constantly frustrated by the single vanity in your bathroom? What about your lacking outdoor space? These small (or sometimes big) daily frustrations with your current house can be a great starting point for your wishlist.
Feel free to daydream a little when you start your wishlist, then whittle down the list to a more a realistic length. Consider square footage, home style (new versus old), and community features. All these factors should be in the back of your mind before you create a wishlist for your next home.
Desired or required?
Now that your wheels are turning about what you could add to your wishlist, it’s important to distinguish between list items that are desired, and items that are required.
Think of desired items as:
- Items you want, but don’t need
- Conveniences and luxuries
- Not necessary for practicality or everyday life
Some examples of desired items are things like exposed brick, fireplace, or high ceilings. These list items are often for aesthetic purposes, and because of this they are desired, not required.
Think of required items as:
- Something that can’t be changed without extensive remodeling
- Amount of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Number of parking spaces available
- Impossible changes (school district, outdoor space, proximity to parks or retail stores)
Required list items are items that are deal breakers, things that would make you not even consider a home if it didn’t have them. Try to keep this section of your list short and sweet. The more concise you are here, the more options you will have once your real estate professional starts house hunting for you.
What you don’t want
Arguably just as important as what you do want, are items that you absolutely do not want. For example, maybe you would hate to have a swimming pool. Some buyers may require this, but you see it as extra maintenance and a safety hazard for children. Maybe you can’t deal with extending your current commute, or a yard with extensive landscaping to maintain. These are all important details to share with your agent before you start your search for your new home-sweet-home.
Now that you’ve brainstormed ideas on what you require, what you desire, and what you don’t want, it’s important that you organize your list for your real estate agent.
Organizing your list can help keep your focus on what is truly important for you and your family. Consider organizing your list into categories such as:
- Must have items (required)
- Hope to have items (desired)
- Deal breaks (absolutely do not want)
This simple organization of list items will ensure your real estate agent understands the assignment in finding the perfect new piece of property for you.
You can also try utilizing this pre-made worksheet from the United States Department of Housing and Development (HUD). This form can be a handy place to start if you’re still feeling unsure of how to create a wishlist for your next home.
When to compromise?
Once your list is created, it is important to understand that often you will need to make some compromises. The perfect property does exist; or does it?
The current national real estate market can make ticking every box on your wishlist difficult, which is important as a buyer to understand. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) home prices are continuing to increase (on average $80,000 more than pre-pandemic market prices!), while home inventory on the market has dropped significantly (reaching record lows in 2021!).
This double-trouble market can make finding the absolute perfect piece of property challenging. Being aware of this and realistic in your needs is essential to a successful home close.
When to hold firm?
On the flip-side, it’s valuable for buyers to know when to hold firm and not make a compromise they may regret in the future. Financial aspects are a place that you should certainly hold firm on. If you cannot afford a property, don’t purchase it. Also, be sure that you are getting those required items on your list checked off (remember, these are things that can’t be easily changed or are impossible to change).
Our final tips when learning how to create a wishlist include:
- Be patient (especially in today’s market with limited inventory for buyers)
- Keep your list organized into categories
- Realize compromise may be necessary
- Know your requirements and stick to them
We hope you’ve found learning about how to create a wishlist for your next home helpful! If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell real estate, contact Maureen Forgette with CENTURY 21 Roberts and Andrews for an elevated level of service and unmatched expertise.