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What's important to you when you're buying your first (or second) home

There’s a lot of first time homebuyer’s guides that describe getting pre approved, finding a realtor and looking for a house, but I haven’t found a lot of information on what can really help a first time homebuyer or any homebuyer for that matter, make a critical list of deciding factors to help narrow their search.  This checklist is a great starting point when you are first considering a home. Start thinking about the neighborhood, your lifestyle, interior and exterior features. It’s helpful to use a ranking score to really get specific on what features matter most, and what features you are willing to sacrifice if you find the perfect home but it doesn’t have everything on your wish list.

While our market is hot right now, having a specific criteria of what you are looking for will expedite your search as well as will save time when viewing homes. Being prepared this way can help reduce buyer’s remorse, as you have spent some time thinking ahead of what is really most important for you in your purchase.


The list should be wants and needs to help your realtor find your dream home. Buying a house brings up many questions and ideas of what’s important.

Which Neighborhood?

Choosing a home isn’t just about selecting or building your dream house, it’s also about finding the right neighborhood for you.

Things to consider when choosing your neighborhood:


Do you want to be in a family neighborhood?

Do you want to be near a playground?

Do you want to be close to your child’s school?

Do you want to be near trails you can hike and bike?

Do you want to be close to public transportation?

Do you want entertainment within reach?

Do you have easy access to loved ones?


Location Considerations: Rate items from 1-10 with 10 being the most important.


____ Neighborhood

____ Transit

____ Street Parking

____ Proximity to shopping amenities

____ Length of commute to/from work

____ Parks

____ Public Schools

____ Community Centers

____ Noise/Congestion

____ Mature vs. Growth Area

____ Zoning, future possibilities for development


Which features do you want?

What do you want your new home to have? Create a list of needs and wants for your new home. Making your every wish come true begins with the knowing what you really want in your next home.

Here’s a list of questions to keep in mind when choosing your dream home:


Do you want to entertain in a spacious dining room?

Do you want to park in a two-car garage?

Do you want to relax in front of a fireplace?

Do you want a backyard where your children or dog can play?

Do you want little to no yard maintenance?

Do you want a spacious laundry room?

Do you have to have a workshop or RV parking?


Property considerations: Rate items from 1-10 with 10 being the most important.


____ Single-family home

____ Townhome

____ Condo

____ Yard

____ Garage

____ Guest Parking

____ Deck/Porch/Balcony

____ Expandability

____ Energy efficient/utility costs

____ New Construction

____ Fixer-upper

____ Resell

____ Vintage

____ Brick construction

____ Frame construction

____ Views

____ Single floor or multi-level

____ Large lot or acerage

____ Privacy

____ Recreation facilities in multi-unit condos

____ Pool

____ Gym


Which interior considerations are must have? Here is a list of interior considerations for your dream home.

Do you want to have a rancher style?

Do you want a multi storey house with the bedrooms upstairs or downstairs?

Do you want the main living level upstairs or downstairs?

Do spend a lot of time cooking? Is a large kitchen important?

Do you want a basement you can finish yourself or would prefer everything completed?

Do you need a lot of storage space?

Do you entertain a lot and need room for family and other guests?



____ #Bedrooms

____ #Bathrooms

____ Master Bedroom

____ Master bath/ensuite

____ Closet space

____ Basement – finished or unfinished

____ Eat-in Kitchen nook

____ Gourmet Kitchen

____ Pantry in kitchen

____ New appliances

____ Dining Area/ Room

____ Den/ Office

____ Media or family room

____ Wood Flooring

____ Fireplace

____ Whirlpool bath

____ Guest closet

____ Foyer/entryway

____ Ceiling height

____ Thermal Windows

____ Central air

____ Forced air heat

____ Lighting


Now that you’ve completed all preliminary steps on the home buying checklist, you’re ready to start searching. Make sure to print this out to start your search.



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