Buying a Home April 22, 2022

Must-Haves vs Nice-to-Haves When Buying a Home

With the low inventory of homes in today’s housing market, finding a home that checks all the boxes can be challenging. 

However, if you can separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves, you’ll have a higher chance of landing the home that fits your needs.  

Chief Economist for, Danielle Hale, states that: 

“Focus on the goal you set out for yourself, like your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves and your budget, . . . Stick to that. Be persistent.”

How to Begin

First on the list when searching for a home is to get pre-approved. You don’t want to fall in love with a home that is too far out of reach. Getting pre-approval helps you better understand your budget, which is vital when creating your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves.

After understanding your budget, begin listing the features of a home that you would like. 

Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:


  • Must-Haves are features that, if a home doesn’t have them, then it won’t work for you and your lifestyle. Examples of must-haves include the school district, distance from work, distance from family and friends, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.


  • Nice-to-Haves are features that would be great to have in a home, but aren’t deal-breakers. Examples of nice-to-haves include a two-car garage, a fireplace, a finished basement, etc.

Dream State: 

  • Dream state features are, well, things that you dream about. They may be unrealistic for your budget or the current housing market, but it’s fun to think about! If you find a home in your budget with all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner. Examples include a built-in pool, gourmet kitchen, etc.

After creating this list, now it’s time to sit down with a real estate advisor. They will help you navigate the market and find homes that fit as many of your must-haves and nice-to-haves as possible.

Crafting your home search checklist may seem like a small task, but it can save time and money. It’s also one of the keys to success in today’s competitive market. Let’s connect so we can work together to find a home that fits your wants and needs.

If you can keep your goal in mind and be persistent, you will find the perfect home for you and your family.

Gerry Garcia’s 30 year background in construction, 30 years of real estate marketing of homes and land provides you with experience and knowledge that you can trust. Contact Gerry Today!