The housing market will continue to be competitive due to lack of homes for sale, it can be difficult to find the one that fills that must have checklist.  If you know the absolute essential features in your next home and which ones are just nice amenities you can land a home that finds your needs.


Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains it like this:

“Focus on the goal you set out for yourself, like your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and your budget, . . . Stick to that. Be persistent.”


How to go about creating your list of must have features?  Step one, is get pre-approval to help you better understand your budget so you can craft a list.  Falling in love with a home out of your budget only leads to heartache.

After you know your budget, you can begin to list all the features of a home you would like.  Here is a  suggestion on how to craft your list:

  • Must-Haves– If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves– These are features that you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, garage, etc.).
  • DreamState– This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

Finally, once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your local real estate agent/broker . They’ll be able to help you refine the list, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home that meets your needs.

Bottom Line

Crafting your home search checklist may seem like a small task, but it can save you time and money. It’s also one of the keys to being successful in today’s competitive market. Let’s connect so we can work together to find a home that fits your wants and needs.