Windermere Professional Partners

Buying a HomeFinding The One

Determining Your Goals & Crieteria

December 20, 2019
Last updated May 6, 2020

It’s a common saying in real estate that the three most important things in a home are “Location, location, location!” While location is very important when you’re looking for a new home, there are several factors that you’ll need to consider before you start the home search.

We recommended beginning with a wish list of the top five things you’re looking for in a home. List these items in order of importance, considering “want” vs. “need.” If you’re buying a home with a partner, it might be helpful to each make your own list and then share them with each other. How are your lists different, and what do they have in common? Take some time to talk about what each person may be able to compromise on so everyone stays as happy as possible!

Many of our REALTORS® find that the top three most important factors in the homebuying process are condition, location, and price. Here are a few follow-up questions for each factor that will help you narrow down even more on what you want and need in a house:


  • Do you want a home that’s move-in ready? (More specifically, what does this mean to you?)
  • Are you willing to update finishes, such as flooring and paint colors?
  • Do you want a “project house” where you can build in some sweat equity?


  • Do you need to be in a certain school district?
  • Do you need to be close to work or close to public transit?
  • Do you want it to be walkable to amenities?
  • Do you want a view?


  • How much are you pre-approved for?
  • What are you comfortable with for a mortgage payment?
  • Are you willing to stretch a bit if it means getting everything on your wish list?

These are all great questions that your agent will ask you. As you figure out the answers to each question, you’ll be able to narrow down your home search and ultimately find the home that is the best fit for you!

It’s also important to keep in mind that many buyers find that after seeing a few homes, their wish list changes, and things they originally thought they wanted or needed are not as important. Our advice? Be flexible. A good agent will listen to you and guide you through the process. The right home is out there for you!