Needs and Wants: The Magic Ingredients To The Perfect New Home

June 21, 2011

Ever go grocery shopping without making a list while hungry? You think, "I know what to buy this week, no need to write it down." Walking through the grocery store, stomach growling, everything starts to look good. Several yummy objects later, you roll a full basket up to checkout. Once home you realize you forgot key ingredients for meals, but gosh you really took care of the deserts and cravings. Ahhh the joys of cooking. Note to self: Next time bring a list. The same thing happens when you enter a new home community to build the house to fit your lifestyle. You begin to salivate. A great builder thinks of all the possibilities addressing a wide variety of tastes, needs, wants and desires. Touring a model is the opportunity to see all the ingredients unfold before you. This is part of the joy of building a new home. Suddenly you are that starving person grocery shopping. You want stone fireplaces, decks, deluxe appliances and the kitchen sink. Just kidding, you always get a kitchen sink. But are you going with the under mount with brushed nickel fixtures? With so many options to choose from, it's important to separate your needs from your wants. Then you'll know up front what the most important elements will be when you roll your cart through those model doors. You don't want to walk out hours later and think, "oh but we really need this, that, and the sunroom." Before you go new home shopping, sit down and make a grocery list of important ingredients. A wants and needs list is the menu for your plan. Once you have the structure of your meal down, you can go hunting for that rich chocolate cake to finishing everything perfectly. Ask yourself a series of questions: - Do I need 4 bedrooms, or 3 and a flex space? - What school district does my home need to be in? - Is a gourmet kitchen important? - Open floor plan, or traditional formal rooms? - Luxury bathroom? - Where do I spend the most time? - What kind of rooms do I need for hobbies? - What are my structural needs? - How efficient is the home? What will be the total cost of ownership? - Do I need to think about resale? Then make a list of things you'd love to have to design the house just for you. By making two lists side by side, you'll start to see what the most important features are in your new home. Now when you walk the model, you're armed with a shopping list. First find the structure that fits your lifestyle. Do you have the spatial plan, the right kitchen, and so on? Then you can start dressing spaces with the proper appliances, counter top materials, and flooring choices to fit your tastes. Forget major ingredients like the finished room over the garage for scrap booking, or the 2-foot bump out with the optional gas fireplace, and those things are a lot harder to add later. Tick off the needs on the list, then look around at shinny objects and see which will be perfect side dishes to satisfy those wants. If you leave out the needs it's like leaving the yeast out of your cake. It may still taste sweet but it really falls flat and in the end something is missing. By making your lists upfront, when you are ready to go shopping you'll be sure to have everything that makes your house a home. Image source: ©PhotoXpress.com
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