Property wants vs. property needs

21st November 2016

Buying a new house can be an emotional experience. We tend to get swept into the excitement of it all; overwhelmed by stunning matte black tap wear, in awe of soft plush carpet, inspired by vast cathedral ceilings. Sometimes, we can become so attached to the finer details, that we forget the bigger picture and run the risk of making irrational emotion-driven decisions. Thus, before you start your property search, you need to separate your wants from your needs.

Everybody has their own wants and needs from a property, so there are no hard and fast rules on how to differentiate between the two. Nonetheless, we have put together some rough guidelines to help steer you in the right direction!

Firstly, you need to have a clear intention. Will you be using this property as an investment? Perhaps you'd like to start a family here? Maybe you're nearing retirement and see your next place as your 'forever home'? Whatever your goals may be, your property 'wants and needs' list should be reflective of such goals. While you may want a no fuss one-bedroom inner city apartment, you likely need a slightly bigger space if you plan to start a family. Your property search should start with the essentials, and if a few places tick every box, you can start checking off the 'wants' column.

I Need...

Based on your goals, it should be relatively easy to determine what you need out of your next property. For example, you need the property to fit within your budget. This is a necessity for anyone purchasing property; whether your budget be $400k or $40 mil - buying above your limit will cause financial difficulty.

You will also probably have more personalised needs; You might require a grassy backyard for your two border collies to run around, or perhaps you're a cake artist who bakes from home and must have extra bench and cooking space.

Only you know what you truly need out of a property, so only you can separate your wants from your needs. Be ruthless; if moving 'a man cave' from the needs to the wants column helps you break into the property market whilst still maintaining a comfortable life - well then, you know what to do.

I Want...

A quadruple garage! A polished timber deck! A double vanity in my bathroom!

Hey, everybody is different - and maybe you can't survive without these things. If so, chuck them in your 'needs' column.

But if such things are simply 'nice to have', and you believe you can still live a decent life without them, then don't let them drive your property search. If you are comparing two properties, both within budget, both in a great location, both surrounded by handy amenities, and both offering ample garage space to fit all your prized toys - THEN your wants can come into play. That double vanity could be the make or break after all!

Remember, its the fundamental things like location, size and cost that should first be considered when browsing the property market. Stylistic choices (those floral curtains, that tattered carpet), these things are not forever. With a quick visit to Kmart (a budget home maker's dream!) and a couple of fresh coats of paint, you could turn your compromised home into everything you've ever wanted in just a matter of days. Don't let your emotions blind you; find a property that addresses your fundamental needs - and transform it into whatever you want.

Need help financing your new home? Get in touch with your local broker today.

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