MAKE A LIST. CHECK IT TWICE. You may have an existing impression of what you want from your new home. Putting that to paper and having a complete checklist can prove useful. Before starting your hunt for a new home, it is advisable to make a list of all your basic needs and desires, then rank the desires by priority, assuming that all needs must be met for a house to merit consideration in the first place. This will make the search easier. Realize that it is nearly impossible to find a home that meets all requirements at once in both needs and desires, though. Compromises will be necessary. It is a good idea to work in order from outside-the-house factors to inside-the-house. For example, location is perhaps the primary concern and both “need” factors and “desire” factors might be involved. A “need” would be “must be within 25 miles of work.” A desire might be, “would like Westwood” (a favored neighborhood), while a need might be “on west side of city,” (because work, family, friends, and recreation activities are all located there). Location needs may include proximity to schools, frequently used recreation facilities, or mode of transportation (bus or suburban rail access). Whether an item is a need or a desire depends on circumstance. Closeness to family might be a need for a couple with young children or elderly parents to care for, or a desire if those factors are not involved. It is items like these that make a checklist helpful.
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