Things you should, and shouldn’t, sacrifice in a new home

Posted by Betsy Osman on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at 6:30am

Should and Shouln'tWhen you’re in the market for a new home, it’s a good idea to create a list of “Wants” and “Must Haves.” You’ll also need to think through a budget. Not only will this help you and your family get on the same page, it will better equip your real estate agent to find your perfect fit.

Along the way, you may find that you’re willing to give up a few of your “Wants” in order to get your “Must Haves.” According to Brinkoetter agent, Jodi Brinkoetter, sometimes sacrificing things that can eventually be repaired and upgraded is an easy way to narrow your search.

“While I always want buyers to get exactly what they want, sometimes they have to sacrifice some of their ‘Wants.’ I would suggest sacrificing things that they can budget for and change in the future. Like modernized kitchen or baths, flooring, and other updates. These are things things that can be changed in time, and shouldn’t necessarily be dealbreakers.”  

So what are some things you shouldn’t be willing to sacrifice?

“Your floor plan is important. Never sacrifice the number of bedrooms or bathrooms you need,” says Brinkoetter. “If you need a main floor master bedroom, keep looking until you find it. This is your home; it must work for you and your family.”

According to Brinkoetter, location is also something that shouldn’t be compromised. “You can't move your home. Make sure your home is in the area and school district that works for you. Your lot can't be changed either. Do you need a backyard for kids to play or for pets? Do you want a small lot with minimal maintenance? These are things you don't want to sacrifice.”

When Brinkoetter agent, Jenny Lambdin, is working with buyers, she encourages openness and flexibility…to a point.

“If a home lacks the immediate space you need, I promise you after you get settled in you will wish you had more room. Maybe it’s storage, or maybe a floor plan that invites more spacious living, but try to think ahead and realistically anticipate your family’s needs.”

Lambdin’s Pro-Tip, “If you’re wanting a finished basement, don’t rule out homes with unfinished basements or bonus spaces. That unfinished space can be finished later and designed to your specifications and needs. And a bonus space can be just as functional and useful as a basement.”

If you’re ready to start looking for a new home, sit down with your family to create your list of “Wants” and Must Haves.” You might even break it up into categories:

Price Range - What does your budget say you’re able to comfortably afford?

Home Size - How many bedrooms do you need? What other spaces do you require?

Location - How important is your close proximity to the office? To school? To parents?

Neighborhood - Is it important that there are families with children on your block?

Schools - How do you feel about the schools in this area?

Home Systems - How important is a fireplace? Gas or electric? Solar Power?

Home Features, Interior - Do you require a main floor master bedroom? Upstairs laundry? Home Office?

Home Features, Exterior - What are your needs in a Garage? Driveway? Fenced Yard?

After you’ve done that, call your Brinkoetter agent and put them to work. Your well-articulated list will help them find your fit, FAST. 

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