It starts innocently enough one Saturday morning. Maybe you find yourself wishing you could host family at your house. Maybe you’re already dreading the long Monday morning commute. You look up at your partner and say: “You know, maybe we should think about moving.” To your surprise you hear: “I’ve been thinking the same thing. Let’s start looking tomorrow!”
Not so fast! Knowing that you and your partner want to move isn’t enough to begin your home search in earnest. Before you jump the gun and a start going to open houses, it’s a good idea to determine what’s behind the desire to move. Is it the neighborhood? Is it the commute? Is it the lack of space? If you don’t get an idea what’s behind your urge for a new house, you could end up house hunting with mismatched priorities.
Without a mutual understanding, you can end up wasting a lot of time looking at homes which don’t have a hope of satisfying your needs. Without articulating your needs to one another, you could end up fighting without knowing why. Worse, you might decide to spend more than you can afford in order to accommodate each disparate desire.
Here’s a simple exercise to ensure you share your home priorities with one another:
Step 1: Set time aside to separately make lists of the factors which inspired you to consider moving. List your motivating likes and dislikes. Write them down, and don’t share these with each other yet.
Step 2: List everything you’d like to have in your next home. Again, do this separately. Be free, list everything. Be specific. Don’t hold back. Let it rip to get the ideas flowing.
Step 3: Look at your list and draw a box around what you consider a NEED. After that, draw a circle around everything that’s reasonable to WANT. Again, do this alone.
Step 4: Rank your needs in order of importance. Rank your wants from highest to lowest.
Step 5: Once you’ve created your list, get together with your partner and compare lists. It’s unlikely everything will match up perfectly. Talk it out. See where you can compromise.
Step 6: Make a third list together of ranked NEEDS / WANTS. Congrats! This is the home you’re really looking for.
The final step? Get in touch with me to help you find that home!