Buying a home is time consuming, emotional, stressful and exciting all at the same time.   The more clarity you have around what you want the easier and more enjoyable the process will be.  A really effective way to get clarity is by using some lists so everything is not a muddle in your head.  If you are buying a home with a partner/spouse I think it’s helpful to each do your own lists first and then compare them.

List One – what is non-negotiable

The non-negotiable list is the most important. It will be a short list with maybe only five or six things on it and will help you narrow down your search quickly.  If a house doesn’t match your criteria, don’t waste any time looking at it.

List Two – what you would like to have

This will be your biggest list and you probably won’t find everything on the list but if you achieve 80% of it you will be doing pretty well.

List Three – your wish list

These are the things that would be a real bonus.   It may be something like a swimming pool or a vegetable garden that is already set up.

Below are some things you might have on one of your three lists:

  • Location
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Size and type of garaging
  • Type of property (character, apartment, townhouse)
  • New or older
  • School zoning
  • Size of section
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Separate lounge or second living area
  • How child or pet friendly
  • Ability to renovate to how you want and add value
  • Level of maintenance
  • Proximity to public transport
  • Privacy
  • Access to sun

Now that you have taken the time to develop your lists don’t forget to use them.  It will be useful to review your lists after each time you look at a property.  Your requirements may change once you start having a good look around.  A friend recently bought a home with his partner of many years.  They developed a list of what they wanted. 

When they started looking his partner completely changed her mind about what she wanted. He said “I thought I knew her really well but I was blown away by what she ended up wanting – I never would have picked it”.   Often you don’t really know what you want until you start looking.  You can always revise your list at any time. 

However, be mindful of trying to stick to it once it has been revised.  Use it to keep yourself on track, balance emotions and practicalities, and help you have a great experience finding your perfect home.