It’s spring, which means home buying season has officially arrived! If you’re on the hunt for a new home in the Hilton Head area, chances are you’ve already thought about the features you’d like to have.

However, one important part of searching for homes is making a distinction between your needs and your wants. Needs are amenities or features you can’t live without, while wants are things that you’d like to have (but they ultimately wouldn’t affect your home buying decision too much).

Two-story suburban home with a large garage and grey shutters.Ideally, you’ll want to come up with this list of needs (e.g. 3 bedrooms, under $500k, close to the marina) and wants (e.g. fiber internet connection, stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets) before you start looking for homes. This will save you time along the way as you browse dozens, maybe hundreds, of homes online or in person.

Here’s a guide for distinguishing between your wants and needs:

Your Needs

To begin, come up with a list of priorities. What are some features or amenities that are non-negotiable? Do you need a home with a certain number of bedrooms? Maybe it has to be in a specific location, on or off the Island, or a certain community?

Write your priorities down on paper or in a smartphone app to better visualize what you need in a home. Here are some things to consider:

View

Small black and white dog sitting on a green lawn with a wooden fence behind him.What do you want to view out the back door? This is one feature that tends to be at the top of a Hilton Head home buyers’ minds.

Views include golf, marina, ocean, lagoon and wooded views.  Sometimes view is not as important as location: i.e. near ocean properties often do not have a view other than the backyard pool, but are an easy stroll to the beach.

Home Size

Your specific needs determine how much space you need in a home or villa.

Do you anticipate a lot of future guests? If so, you should think about how much space you may require to accommodate these welcomed visitors. The larger your home, the more guest you can have visit!  Or maybe you want them to visit just one at a time?

You may also want to consider more bedrooms if you are looking to rent it during the summer months as a vacation rental.  Location is very important as well if this is what you are looking for.

Location

Man driving a car with his hands on the wheel.Think about where you currently live. Are you close enough to conveniences like the beach, golf, shopping, dining and schools?

Make a pros and cons list about your current location and base your new list off of the features you like or wish you had.

Budget

When you’re coming up with your list of needs, one of the most important factors to consider in your home search is your budget.

A great way to set your budget is by meeting with a local lender to get pre-approved. During this process, the bank will go over all your financial information and let you know exactly how much they’re willing to lend you.

Your Wants

Spacious open living room filled with natural light.Once you narrow down your list of needs (the biggest of which is your budget), you should tackle your list of wants.

Try focusing on amenities or special features that will increase your property’s resale potential (for when you decide to sell down the road).

Value-boosting home features can layout, location and view in the Hilton Head area.

Not only can these amenities increase your quality of life, they’ll likely get you more money in the long run when you decide to sell.

Prioritizing Your Wants and Needs

Smiling couple looking at a computer researching their budget.It can be challenging to find a home that has everything you need, everything you want, and is still within your budget.

Ultimately, you should prepare to make compromises along the way. (Which is more important, having a spa-like master bathroom or living less than 10 minutes away from the beach?)

Here are a few tips you can follow:

  • Consider any additional costs of certain home features and amenities. For example, if you want to live closer to the beach, you may have to sacrifice the size of the home you can buy for the money you have budgeted.
  • Don’t always choose the latest upgrades. A number of different factors determine the cost of a home. Amenities like granite countertops and whirlpool tubs are likely to increase the price tag.  If you are willing to do a few upgrades yourself, you may be able to save when shopping in the Hilton Head market.
  • Adjust your list if necessary. You may realize during your home search that what you thought was a need is actually just a want.

Last on Your Checklist: The Right Realtor

Using your wants and needs list, a good Realtor can create a personalized list of potential homes that meet all your criteria.

That’s where we come in. Allow us to use our unique home buying expertise to help you find the home that’s just right. Give us a call today to get started.

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