Home Buying Step 4, What are your Specific Home Priorities?
Going through the process of deciding where to live, how much to spend and what amenities you want your next home to have is a series of compromises. Compromises between people, spouses, children, work demands...compromises with your budget and compromises with your ideal list and what is actually available. Another way to look at this is negotiating, not on the price but on all of the factors that bring us to the point of selecting a home and then negotiating a price.
A method I've used with buyers is to create lists, negotiate priorities, test the market, renegotiate priorities and then repeat until the right house is found.
Create a list. Each decision maker should separately write down all the items they realistically hope to have in their next home. I say realistically, because we all have champagne tastes but not many have the budget to get everything they might like. If you are not sure if something you want will be affordable, put it on the list. You can always cut it later.
Divide each list. First, put the number 1, 2 or 3 by each item. Group the items into each category. "1" means, non-negotiable; this is a must have or I won't buy. "2" means this is something you'd really like to have, but could live without it if everything else were perfect. "3" means you'd like to have it, but would be fine without it.
If there are multiple decision makers, compare your lists. This is a great exercise for couples as a communication tool. You may find out a few things about your partner that you didn't know. If kids are involved, include them in the exercise. They are often a huge part of the decision making process and may bring good insights. If they are less than happy about the decision to move, this may also allow them to at least know they have a voice.
Once you have an agent, A Pre-approval, a location or two in mind, you can begin to use this tool to sort out your priorities for your next home.
This is Step 4 in a series titled Home Buying, 12 Steps and the Serenity Prayer