That Perfect Home: Must-Haves And The Wish List

Taking the time to identify and categorize what you’re looking for in a home is an important first step in the home-buying process. Lists that rank your must-haves, wants and dislikes will help you stay focused on your ultimate goal – finding the perfect house – and help you keep a cool head while touring open homes.

Sit down, relax, and spend some time thinking about and itemizing the features your dream home or your perfect first home will include. The lists aren’t scored in stone and likely will change as your home search evolves and you get a better idea of what’s on the market. As you tour open homes, you may identify additional must-haves, wants and dislikes.

The must-have list is essential. It should include and rank by importance the features your home absolutely must include. A good rule is to list features that you can't easily change: type of home (craftsman, split-level, a home with sufficient storage space or a fireplace), location/neighborhood, school district, proximity to transportation and shopping, closet space, number of rooms or square footage, and the home’s overall condition (move-in or fixer-upper).

Your wish list should be flexible, and should include cosmetic features and of course, your dream amenities. Wall-to-wall carpeting, hardwood floors or a meticulously landscaped yard are features you can implement yourself.

Tour as many homes as possible and don’t forgo a house sight unseen simply because it doesn’t include all the features on your must-have list. Finding a home that includes every essential may not be realistic, but it’s entirely possible to find a home that includes enough must-haves and just enough wants to strike that perfect balance. The house that doesn’t include a fireplace may include a view that you simply must have.


  • Are You Ready to Own a Home?
  • Home Buyer's Step By Step Guide
  • Evaluating Neighborhoods
  • Home Buyer Remorse
  • The Home Inspection
  • The Final Walk Through
  • What You Need to Know about Homeowner's Insurance
  • Home Ownership Pays
  • ThAT Perfect Home: Must-Haves and Wish List
  • The Purchase Offer
  • Why You Should Hire a Realtor:Buyer Benefits
  • Ship-Shape Credit: Keeping Your Finances in Shape
  • It's a Buyers' Market for Investors too
  • Financing Articles Links

  • How Much Home Can You Afford
  • Mortgage Basics
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages
  • Bridge Loans
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • How Your Credit Score Affects Your Buying Power
  • Debt to Income Ratio
  • FHA Loan
  • Fixed Rate Mortgage
  • Good Faith Estimate (GFE)
  • PMI- Private Mortgage Insurance
  • A Pre-approved Buyer is a Serious Buyer
  • Shopping for Interest Rates
  • The Stated Income/Stated Asset LoaN