Determining Your Must-Have Checklist
When Buying A New Home

Shopping for a new home can trigger so many emotions; it’s exciting and yet can be overwhelming at the same time.  There are so many items to consider including finding the perfect location, determining your budget and the right floor plan to fit your needs.  How can you make sure you’re buying the right home?  With some expert tips and careful planning, you can avoid wasting time considering homes that do not meet your criteria and you can make an easier decision buying the right home.

Determine How Much You Can Afford

Have you saved enough money for a down payment?  The best way to begin your home shopping journey is to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know how much home you can afford.   Once you have saved enough to put down on a house, you must consider how much of a mortgage payment you can afford each month.  You will also need to consider other monthly costs you will be responsible for as a new homeowner (maintenance, repairs, property insurance and taxes etc).  We have mortgage specialists that can help you with creative ways of financing and down payment options.  Just ask one of our sales consultants to refer you to one of our trusted Mortgage Professionals.  

Determine Your Wants vs Needs Features in a New Home

The best way to determine what belongs on your must-have list is to start drafting checklists to narrow down your home nice to have features,  and your home needs.  Buying a new home can be one of the largest purchases you will ever make; therefore, you might have to compromise on features you thought you “needed,” but realized it was more of a “nice to have.”  Creating a detailed checklist can also help you stay within your budget guidelines and have higher confidence when making an offer.

Let’s begin by defining your must haves needs. A “need” is considered a dealbreaker. If you need four bedrooms because your family can’t fit into a three-bedroom home, then you will not waste your time viewing homes that does not meet that criterion. No matter how gorgeous a home is or what fantastic deal you found, a “need” is a feature that would very difficult to compromise on.  A home “nice to have” is something that you would love to have in a home but can live without. You may want an open to below floor plan, but it’s not going to change your quality of life without it.  You can always budget and build a home with this dream style layout later.


Common Home Needs:

  • Sufficient bedrooms, bonus spaces, and bathrooms
  • Adequate square footage for comfortable living
  • Comfortable sized, functional kitchen to prepare meals
  • Storage (garage or basement)
  • Outdoor space, with or without a fence
  • Easy access to schools and facilities
  • Public transportation nearby
  • Office space if working from home
  • Short commute times to important activities such as work and recreational activities

Common Home Nice to Have’s:

  • Open to below floorplan
  • Hardwood floor, tile and luxury vinyl plank
  • Specific kitchen cabinet color
  • South facing yard
  • Smart home features
  • Finished basement
  • Luxury finishes
  • View/water front property
  • Close to amenities such as grocery stores, fitness facilities, etc.

Here are a few important questions to ask yourself when creating these questions:

  1. How long will you live in your home?
  2. Have you researched the location you would like to live? 
  3. If a home doesn’t currently meet your needs, can it be remodeled?
  4. Are your expectations realistic?
  5. What are some likes/dislikes of your current living arrangement?
  6. What is your timeframe for moving?

Now that you’ve asked yourself the tough questions and divided your home needs from your wants, narrow your list even further by ranking your “wants” column from highest to lowest priority. This will help to make your home buying process more efficient. By doing this exercise, you’ll realize things you can sacrifice in order to find a home that meets your needs and your top wants!

A few things to keep in mind:

  1.  Covid has delayed construction timelines, and has made supply issues very frustrating to a new home builder.  Please be patient with your builder as they work through these unfortunately delays.
  2. Prepare for minor issues to pop up.  Homes are for the most part built by human hands; therefore, errors are bound to arise.  Being patient with the process, and working closely with your reputable builder will make the process less frustrating when these issues due arise.

Determining your home features list may take a little extra planning, however, it will help make your new home hunting journey a pleasant experience. Montorio Homes are designed with your preferences and lifestyle in mind, and our team of sales consultants is able to help align your home with your needs and wants.  We are currently active in many communities in the Edmonton and surrounding areas including:  Glenridding Ravine, Walker Summit, McConachie Heights, Beaumont and others.