How To Balance Your Wants And Needs As A Homebuyer

What you want from a house is very different from what you need and what you can potentially afford. It’s important to ask yourself this question before you start looking. It will make it easier to find the right property.

Setting the budget

Before you even start looking at wants and needs, the first step is to find your budget. That means talking to a real estate broker and finding out how much you can borrow. Alongside this, you’ll have to look at how much funds you have for a deposit. This could come from savings or equity in an existing property.

Knowing your budget will enable you to start looking at houses and see what you get for your money. It should be noted that it’s worth talking to a real estate auctioneer as you can often get properties under market value at auction. But proceed with caution; even accidental bids are binding.

List Your Needs

Your needs are the things that a house must have. For example, you need a bedroom. Depending on the size of your family, you may even need three or four bedrooms. If you have a larger family, you’ll also need two bathrooms. If you have younger children or like entertaining, you’ll probably need a yard.

In short, your needs are everything that you think is essential to ensure you are happy in your new home.

The best way to assess these is to look at your current home and see what rooms and features are used all the time. These will be needs. Anything that isn’t used will be a luxury or a want.

Alongside this, especially if you’re upsizing, you may want to think about what else your family would use a lot. Add this to your needs list.

Don’t forget that neds can also include the location as you may need to be within a set distance of work or some other feature. 

Once you have defined your needs and your budget, you can start viewing houses within the budget that offer everything you need.

If there are none in your budget, you can reconsider your needs or potentially look at living in a slightly different part of town.


Your wants are the extras that will make life more pleasant. For example, if you enjoy hot summers, you’ll probably decide that air conditioning is essential. In contrast, a pool would be nice. That makes the pool a want.

Wants make you love your new home more, but they aren’t a deal-breaker if the house doesn’t have them.


There is no harm in thinking about your dream home at this stage and considering what you would want if money were no object. While you are unlikely to get it, you never know what you may encounter, especially if you’re looking at an auction. If you have a clear picture of what you need, want, and would dream of, it can help you make a quick decision and secure a property before anyone else.

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