Housing Checklist

All the Needs, Wants, and Absolutely Nots of Your Next Home

Simply put, a Housing Checklist is a list of what you need and want in a house. Here at Dream House Help, we believe there are four different categories that need to be considered when creating a Housing Checklist. The categories are 1) Must Have, 2) Would Like to Have, 3) Can Deal With and finally 4) Cannot Deal With.

Though these seem like simple things that everyone always considers when purchasing a home, actually writing it all down in checklist form will help ensure you cover every area. The most important aspect of completing this exercise is making sure you consider every aspect of owning a home prior to taking the steps to purchase one. So let’s go through the four categories and what each one encompasses.

bus-stop-2Must Have- this category includes things such as:

  • Within $XXX budget per month for mortgage
  • Within approximately $XXX budget per month for utility bills
  • Within walking distance from transportation (bus, metro, etc.)
  • Good schools
  • Close to daycare
  • Close to the office
  • Room size
  • Back yard

Would Like to Have– these are things you want in a home but could live without if other things on your list end up covered in the final purchase (you can make concessions on these items)

  • Closeness to shopping
  • Back yard size (back yard could be a “Must Have” but the size could be more of a want)
  • Deck/covered deck
  • Front porch
  • Closeness to neighbors

Can Deal With- when purchasing a new home it is important to know exactly what you can (and can’t) deal with after the purchase is complete- these are examples of things you may be able to deal with but also need to remember to consider prior to signing mortgage papers:

  • Painting roomspaint-circle
  • May need new roof in 5 years
  • Deck needs to be refinished
  • Landscaping needs work
  • Bathroom tile is terrible
  • Carpet color is not your style
  • Homeowners association and fees up to $XX per month (or per year)

Cannot Deal With- these tend to be bigger items that could be wrong with a house that you absolutely cannot deal with upon moving in, some examples are:

  • May be structural damage from previous homeowners changing room layout without planning/inspection
  • May need new roof after one more winter
  • Back yard not fenced in (and you have a dog and need that done prior to move-in)
  • Home located on too busy a street/can hear freeway perfectly from back yard
  • Homeowners association and/or fees over $XX per month (or per year)