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Moving Up: Determining Your Wants and Needs

Moving Up: Determining Your Wants and Needs

Once you’ve decided it’s time to move up into a larger home, it’s time to consider the criteria for the perfect new dwelling. You want more room, but how much? There are choices to make when it comes to the layout of the house, which amenities to include, and how much storage space your family will need. What are you looking for in a neighbourhood, and what’s the most important room in the house? When all is said and done, you’ll choose what you need and get as close as possible to what you want.

Moving Up: Determining Wants Needs Neighbourhood ImageStart with the ‘Must-Haves’

These are the things that are non-negotiable for your family when it comes to a new home. For example, it could be the number of bedrooms or size of the kitchen. Focus on the basics, like the layout and amount of room for common activities. Here are a few examples of those things that would generally fall under the category of ‘needs’:

  • Location
  • Lot Size
  • Neighbourhood
  • Home Size
  • Floor Plan

No matter how superb a new home may be, it won’t be a good fit for your family if it’s in the wrong location. A reasonable commute to work and a good school district are top requirements for most people. The type of lot is also a deciding factor since you’ll want enough space to enjoy the outdoors but not such a big lot that every weekend will be spent doing yard work.

You’ll be looking for a neighbourhood that fits your family’s other needs, as well. One that’s close to schools, has sidewalks so neighbours can interact and has a cohesive, community feel to it is the most desirable. And everyone wants to be close enough to shopping and entertainment that they won’t be behind the wheel all the time.

Moving Up: Determining Wants Needs Fireplace ImageMake a List of the Extras

When it comes to finishing touches, you want to think about your future needs while also not getting overextended financially. If you would like to have a sunroom but it would strain the budget, choose a floor plan that will support an addition down the line. It’s okay to settle for second-best with certain amenities because you can upgrade when you’re ready. Here are some examples of things that could be considered ‘wants’:

  • Upgraded Kitchen Appliances
  • Granite Countertops
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Walk-in Closets
  • Deluxe Master Bathroom
  • Premium Lighting Fixtures
  • Fireplace

When it comes to kitchen appliances, upgrades can wait since it’s easy to remove and install stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. Although countertops are a bigger deal to replace later, you could compromise with a high-end laminate that’s almost indistinguishable from stone. Similarly, there are many top-quality laminate floors that are hard to tell apart from real wooden flooring.

Walk-in closets are usually standard in new homes, at least in the master suite, and many builders have also adopted the two-sink vanity for ensuite master bathrooms. When choosing among upgrades in your new home, this may be the option to think about first, since bathroom upgrades down the line can be quite expensive.

Top-notch lighting fixtures can give a home a stylish appearance, but lighting isn’t hard to upgrade later, as long as it’s not a distinctive design like recessed lighting. This could be a compromise area, in which the recessed lights go in now, but there’s a set budget for the rest of the fixtures. Adding a fireplace is a tough call because, while it’s a luxury, it’s also a practical addition.

Balancing Necessities with Desires

After you’ve figured out what’s most important to your family as far as basic features in your new home, you then have the task of choosing which extras you want and can afford. Not many people have a home-buying budget that lets them add all the extras that are available. It’s a matter of deciding what you can afford now and what you’re willing to do without or upgrade later. It may take time for your new dwelling to become your dream home and, in the meantime, you’ve got a new home that meets your family’s needs more perfectly than ever before.

Once you’ve decided on what’s most important for your new home, be sure to check out our tips for buying a new home build.


Photo credits: kitchen, neighbourhood, fireplace

About The Author

Jeff S.

Proud father and husband. Loves music, Nine Inch Nails, UFC and inbound marketing.

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