Would you rather have marble countertops or an attached garage? A wood-burning fireplace or a dedicated office space?
When it comes to finding your dream home in a tight market, you may have to make some tough calls and be prepared to be decisive. Whether that means getting your financing squared away with a Verified Approval Letter from Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® or clearly defining your needs and wants from the get-go, your preparation will pay off when you can confidently make an offer on that perfect place the moment it hits the market.
Only you know what will make it to the top of your home-shopping wishlist, but here are a few thought-starters to get the ball rolling based on your personality type. Which persona fits you?
You have a few years of parenting under your belt, and you are at the point where your family has outgrown your current place. Now is the time to find that kid-friendly home you can see them growing up in. Your needs might include a family room for activities, a backyard, lots of storage, and a laundry room. Bonuses would be a yard that is already fenced in, laundry on the main floor, an unfinished basement, or even a home with an existing swing set. When considering which features are “needs” and which are “wants,” try making a list of short-, medium-, and long-term goals for your home. Short-term goals get priority on the “needs” list, while medium- and long-term goals can be add-ons and updates you make to the home over time. What to skip? You may not actually want the ever-popular open concept living space. Having some rooms where you can close doors or keep tidy actually could be a big win for your family.
Low Key and Comfortable
If you are the type of person who cherishes your home as a place of relaxation and rest, consider this as you make your list of new-home needs. Start by making a list of the things that bring you comfort, whether it is a cup of tea and a book by a fireplace or a view you can gaze at over breakfast, and you’ll see your priorities begin to define themselves. Your wants might include some unexpected touches: a space to do yoga, an outdoor fire pit, or a tub that you can sink into at the end of the day. If you value a cozy interior space for just you, consider trading off on a large outdoor space. A smaller parcel of land or a postage-stamp patio could be just what you need, not to mention more affordable and less maintenance.
On the move, ambitious, and ready for success? Then you might be the type of person to develop a list that considers what makes things more efficient as you move through a new space. How does the kitchen flow for you? Does having the laundry near the bedrooms make your days easier? Streamlining the smaller things can allow you to spend your energy on the things that are moving your life forward. Your wants list may include a home office or study—especially if you are an entrepreneur at heart. And while you’re in the zone, the Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® digital to-do list will help you streamline your mortgage process at the same time. Win-win.
Being in the heart of the city means that your priorities are often as much about the spaces outside of your home as the spaces inside of it. Your needs might include practical things like parking, elevator access, and proximity to grocery stores. Also consider how much natural light you prefer in a space (knowing that being surrounded by tall buildings can cast shadows, depending on the height and placement of your windows). Your houseplants will thank you! The beauty of being a city dweller is that you go into your home-buying process knowing that every apartment or home will have a few quirks. Consider building a list of needs, a list of wants, and a list of compromises that feel like fair trades (for example, if the home has off-street parking, you may not need to be close to public transportation).
Entertainer of the Year
If you are a buyer who loves a good dinner party or hosting a movie night with 12 of your friends when it’s safe to do so, you will want to find a home that embraces your entertaining spirit. Consider the flow between different spaces in the home—an open floor plan means that you can be in the kitchen cooking and still socialize with your friends in the living room. An outdoor area is a huge plus too. Other priorities to consider could include ample parking out front (either in your driveway or on the street), a powder room near all of the action, and storage for all of the dinnerware you keep for entertaining. If you’re looking for features to cross off your list, consider skipping the updated hardwood floors. That way, you won’t have to worry about your friends’ shoes, and you can update older floors later on if they’re in good shape.
In the end, it is all about finding a home that has the good bones to support your lifestyle. The personality and energy you bring are what will make it truly a perfect fit.