Home Buyers Checklist: Organizing Your Wants vs Needs

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By Clever Real Estate Updated October 21, 2021


If you’re buying a home, it’s important to understand and list out what exactly you need from that home. Not only will this give you a sense of clarity, but it’ll also help you budget better. Knowing the difference between your wants and needs makes buying a home easier. Read on to know more.

home buyer checklist

If you’re buying a home, chances are, you already have a picture of what you want it to be like. From space to lighting style, you might have decided everything. However, not all your requirements qualify as needs. They’re usually wants.

Understanding the difference becomes even more important when you’re buying a home. If you’ve been looking at homes to buy, you’ll know that most homes don’t have everything that you want. Some might be too small whereas others might have a really bad paint color.

However, not all factors are the same and if you clearly know the difference between your wants and your needs, you’ll be able to prioritize and buy a home that fulfills all your needs.

Understanding Your Wants and Needs

Wants and needs are often misunderstood. People tend to cram a lot of wants into the needs category. While the words are self-explanatory, it’s absolutely crucial to understand what exactly they mean in the real estate world.


Needs refer to those items or necessities that must be available in the house you are buying. These requirements cannot be compromised. Needs are tools for survival, and you should not purchase a home that do not fulfill these needs. Some everyday needs include:

  • Adequate space (square footage)
  • Enough bedrooms for a family
  • Sufficient space in the backyard
  • Accessible house


A want, as the word says, is something that you want. You can still buy a home even if it lacks some of your wants. Sometimes, you can acquire these wants later. In essence, you can live in a home that doesn’t have all that you want, but you can’t in a home that doesn’t have all that you need.

Here are some of the common wants of homeowners:

  • Floor material (wood, carpet, or tiles)
  • Window designs
  • Lighting types
  • In-built entertainment room

Homeowners have different wants, and finding a house with all your wants can be difficult. The good thing is that you can still improve your new home to accommodate your wants. To begin with, you need to organize your wants and needs very carefully.

Why You Should Organize Your Wants and Needs

Each home is unique, and when you start looking at them one after the other in quick succession — like when you’re buying a home — it becomes difficult to keep track of what you want from your home in the first place.

One way around this is to prepare a checklist of your wants and needs. This way, you can look at a home and instantly know where it stands in terms of your wants and needs.

Here are some other benefits of beginning a home search with a checklist of all your needs and wants.

  • Saves on time because you’ll only have interest in houses with what you want
  • Helps you to budget for your new dream home
  • Protects you from home sellers who don’t have what you want
  • Keeps you and your partner on the same page
  • Prevents you from making wrong decisions when buying a new house

Factors to Consider When Preparing a Checklist

Now that you know how a checklist helps, let’s get to creating the actual checklist itself. Here are some of the things that you must consider when writing a list of needs and wants.

House Budget

One of the most important things to consider when buying a dream house is the budget. You should calculate the value of the house you need. Preparing a budget will help you to determine the average price of your dream home.

With a fixed budget, it will be easy to avoid houses that are beyond your budget and focus on those that are within your budget.

House Location

When buying a home, you should determine if the house is easily accessible. Homes with poor accessibility will inconvenience you. Is the home close enough to your place of work?

If you have school-going children, you should consider if there’s a good school nearby. Or maybe you travel a lot. Is it close enough to airports? Also, you need to consider crime rates and other safety issues as well.

The location of the house is very important and it’s always a good idea to spend some time assessing the location of your new home.

Size of the House

Whether big or small, the size of a house you need to buy depends on the size of your family. You should buy a house with adequate space for your entire family. A larger family needs a bigger home with enough bedrooms, bathrooms, and living area.

Here are a few wants that you might want to consider

  • Home amenities such as swimming pools
  • Home decor such as paint color and type of floor
  • Exterior features such as house decks

Buying Your Dream House

You should initiate the buying process once you’ve identified the house you are willing to buy. In a nutshell, these are the basic steps to follow.

  • Look for a house with all your needs and enough wants
  • Compare the price of several houses
  • Hire a real estate agent to help you bargain the house price
  • Purchase the house once the deal is closed

Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Agent

Organizing your needs and wants is a very important step when buying a house, yes. But once you have the list, you can’t really do much if you don’t know where to find these homes. Not all homes in the area of your choice will have everything that you need.

The best way around this problem is to hire an expert real estate agent. These agents will know the ins and outs of your area. They’ll know where to find that perfect home and they’ll also know exactly how much you should be paying for it.

One way to hire an experienced local real estate agent is to get in touch with a Clever Partner Agent. They are full-service real estate agents who will guide you through the entire process of buying a home. From paperwork to negotiations — they take care of everything.

What’s more, Clever only partners with the very best agents in any given area. This way, you know you’re working with the very best and buying that dream house won’t take long.

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