• 2 years ago
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Before we can begin searching for your perfect home, we first need to learn your idea of the perfect home, as it’s different for everyone. Which is why it’s helpful to first create a list of needs, wants, and don’t cares. It may seem self-explanatory, but let’s break down the distinct differences between each one.

A “need” is a non-negotiable, something that is absolutely necessary to your future home. If a house does not have a feature that you consider to be a need, it is a deal breaker and we move on to a different property.

A “want” is anything that you would really like to have in your home, but if a house does not have this, you’d be okay. A want is also something that could be easily changed or added to better fit your vision of the perfect home.

A “don’t care” is any feature you really don’t care about having or not having. (As you can see, every part of this list is very well named). This could be any detail that isn’t selling you on a property, but also isn’t making you hate it either.

Your “don’t care” list is not as necessary, as you will likely figure it out throughout the process of looking at various properties, but a “Needs vs. Wants” list is essential before we begin checking to see what is available. There are many benefits to knowing your needs and wants:

  • It saves time not taking you through showings of homes that are automatically not the right fit.
  • It gets everyone on the same page, decreasing any confusion between us and you, or you and a spouse.
  • It allows us to act quicker and with more confidence when we do find your perfect home.

To make this a bit easier to understand, we’ll give you an actual example of our own. Our marketing coordinator, Jordaan, is planning to buy her first home within the next few years with her soon-to-be husband:

Jordaan’s (and Fiancé’s) Needs vs. Wants

Right now, my fiancé and I are largely preoccupied with wedding planning, so we are not actively house hunting, but we are building that “Needs vs. Wants” list to have ready when the time comes. We both agree that our newlywed home needs just enough space for the two of us to live comfortably and raise our future first child for at least a few years. In this list, I thought it might help to also explain the reasons each item is a need or a want.


  • At least 3 bedrooms. In all the time we’ve lived together, we’ve shared one-bedroom apartments, and we know the struggle of sharing tight quarters. In our future home, we will absolutely need a master bedroom (preferably a master suite), a room that can be converted into a home office, and a third room for an eventual nursery.
  • Spacious backyard. I like to spend a good amount of time in nature, getting grounded and breathing fresh air. It is very important to me that we have an outdoor space that is only ours and that does not feel limited or cramped.
  • Adequate kitchen and bathroom counter space. I enjoy cooking dinner, but apartment living has shown my need for areas to prep food and set aside dishes to be washed. A kitchen island would be nice (that’s a want), but counter space to prepare meals is an absolute must. The same goes for the bathroom, as I have many skincare products and my fiancé has hair care products that he uses every day, all of which we’d like to have organized within easy reach as opposed to digging around in a cabinet.
  • At least two bathrooms. I’d like to say this is a need so that if we have guests, they’ll feel more comfortable, but this one is largely motivated by our need to not be crammed into one space when we need to use the facilities at the same time.
  • Double sinks in the master bedroom. See above. Taking turns to brush our teeth as we do now is a source of irritation, and double sinks would eliminate that.


  • 4 or more bedrooms. We’ve talked about eventually having two kids, and it would be nice to have space for each other them to have their own bedroom while still keeping a room as a home office, but since it’s just the two of us now, this is not so much a requirement for our first home.
  • More than 2 bathrooms. I could imagine having an additional ½ or ¾ bathroom, but for now 2 bathrooms, even if one of them is not a full bathroom, is plenty for us.
  • Loft space. I’d love a loft to use for crafting, a space that is just my own to decorate and organize however I need, but if our first house does not have that, it’s not a deal breaker.
  • A pool. My fiancé will say that this should be on the “needs” list, but if our house has a large yard, which actually is a need, and everything else is pretty much perfect, we can build in a pool later. We wouldn’t walk away from a home due to the fact that is does not already have one.
  • Walk-in pantry. The extra storage space would be great, but if there’s enough room in the cabinets (and the kitchen counters are spacious) we can work with that.
  • Balcony attached to the master suite. I certainly enjoy a nice balcony, but I can also live without one.

And just for kicks, here are a few of my “Don’t cares.” This is what I am not really paying attention to
when we begin house hunting:

  • Particular flooring (carpet, wood, tiles, etc.) We can change it to whatever we prefer later, so I don’t really care what how it looks during a showing.
  • One-story vs. Two-stories. So long as there’s the rooms and features we need, I don’t care if there’s stairs or not.
  • Built in fireplace. It might be nice, but I don’t care if it’s there or not.

What’s important to remember is that this example list may be completely different from your own. You have unique needs and wants that are specific to you and your family, and we want to serve that to the best of our abilities. When it comes to making the list, the key question to ask yourself is: “Putting emotions aside, do I absolutely require this to be happy in my home, or is it possible to live without it?” And then we can go from there. Ready to start making your list, but not sure where to start? Download our “Buyer Questionnaire” worksheet!

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