Rethinking Your “Wants” and “Needs” Lists

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Most buyers make a list of all the things they need in their next home which are usually intermingled with the things they want in their next home. Sometimes it is very easy to delineate which is which, but sometimes there are things on the want list that so affect the quality of life that they really skirt the line between the two.

Here are some ways buyers have worked around a problem to get more things checked off their wants and needs lists:

  • Not enough bedrooms – although this may seem like a deal-breaker, before you discount a home entirely due to its lacking bedroom count, see if there is a flex space somewhere that can be converted to a bedroom. There may be a room that is being used as an office, a flex space that makes sense to wall off, or even extra space in an attic or basement that is ready to be finished off. Remember, bedrooms must have a point of entry and an egress (window) and at least 70 square feet of space. You can even consider built-in cabinets if there is no closet.
  • Not enough kitchen cabinets or pantry – There may be a laundry room or mud room nearby or even a spare closet with space for shelving or cabinets. Sometimes small appliances that are not used often, paper towels that are purchased in bulk, etc, can be stored on shelving or in cabinets in the garage.
  • No rec room for the kids – Depending on the age of the kids, perhaps a play shed or exterior structure could be a good solution. Kids love having their own special spaces, so consider a treehouse, playhouse or even something that is weather-tight. Remember to check with your HOA or zoning to make sure something like this would be allowed and of course, safety first.
  • No storage for kayak or bikes in garage – If the garage has some height, there are two possible solutions. By building an accessible loft space, you could gain a few feet of extra storage above a portion of the garage, freeing up the room on the ground for your recreation equipment. Alternatively, there are now rec equipment pulleys available to hoist those bikes and kayaks vertically to utilize open space above the vehicles.
  • No fireplace – Fireplaces have come a long way with a number of different fuel options. Although an authentic wood-burning unit would require serious retrofitting, there are some gas, electric, or even LED models that are much easier to install – some simply by plugging in.
  • No air-conditioning – One popular trend is having single-room installed units that can be controlled independently. This is a great solution for heating or cooling one or several rooms without an extensive renovation.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you come across a home that is otherwise the best fit. Remember, you can’t change the location or usually the lot size, but there are some ways you can increase the functionality of a space to work for you without a lot of time or money. Just browse Pinterest or DIY and you can easily find innovative solutions for the problems that you may encounter. I can’t wait to hear about your next wants and needs lists!

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