Step 5: Needs Versus Wants
Decide what you need from your house, and separate them from what you want. Do you need a stainless-steel range? Are four bedrooms necessary, or can you and your family get by with three?
"The best way to determine what is a need and what is a want is to ask yourself whether you have to put a lot of money in it to change it," Pat says. "A house with good bones, rooms where you want and a crummy kitchen is fine. You can redo the kitchen. If you find a house with a kitchen you love but you have to knock down walls? Those major renovations cost more money and can be considered a want."
Pat points out that you can always install a fence or add central air, but you can't add a yard or a neighborhood you love.
What to do:
Though we have a massive kitchen remodel ahead of us and rooms of wood paneling to tear down, we gained a sprawling backyard and a peaceful street instead, something we'd have missed had we rushed in.
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