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When you are a buyer, deciding exactly what you want can feel overwhelming - location, bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size, square footage, etc. The best approach is to decide on a few of your most important "have-to-haves", have your real estate agent create that search, and then fine tune your preferences as you go. Once you have your search up and running, go see as many houses as you can. It can be tempting to reject many of the houses based on their online photos and listings, but every house you go see teaches you something about what you really want, what you can live with, and what is a dealbreaker. Educating yourself thoroughly about what the market has to offer in your price range provides the greatest opportunity for you to find the very best one for you!

Besides how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, here are some other preferences to consider.

Lot Preferences

Do you have lots of kids and need a big yard or do you hate to mow the grass and want a minimal lot? Are you comfortable with your lot being on a corner, busy street, or secluded cove? Would you like a flat lot or can it have a steep slope? Do you want one with lots of trees or hardly any?

Living Space

What type of living space do you want? Do you like an open floor plan? closed? or somewhere in between? How do you use the space you are currently living in and how should your next home be different? Do you need a formal dining room or designated home office? Sometimes the same room could be used for either. Do you need a chef's kitchen? A downstairs bedroom? A separate laundry room? Again, the more homes you go see, the more you'll learn about what is most important to you.

Move-In Readiness


Often buyers can afford a bigger home or a more selective neighborhood if they are willing to purchase a home in need of renovations and/or updates. If you are a DIYer and do not mind the temporary mess of a home reno, you can get more house for your money. If you need a house already updated and move-in ready, they are out there but often fewer of them, and they will likely have multiple buyers interested. Often houses are almost move-in ready and simply require new paint or carpet. Try to keep your mind open and visualize what a house could be!

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