When looking for a property, the price is far from the only prerequisite. Simplify the home buying process with a checklist of necessary criteria that your new property must fulfill. When you focus on what you absolutely need in your home, you save yourself (and your real estate agent) both time and money. Share your list of priorities with your realtor, so if needed, she can narrow down the search and eliminate any properties that are out of proximity to your work, public transportation, or desired school district.
When viewing potential properties, bring your checklist, so you can easily compare and rank different homes according to how each meets your needs. Remember there is a difference between your wants and your needs. You may need three bedrooms and although you would prefer hardwood floors, they are not essential. You can always do upgrades later, such as finishing off the basement or attic space or pulling up those carpets...what you can't change is your property's location and the size of your lot.
We suggest the following should be included on your list: number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, number of stories, presence/size of a backyard, style of kitchen, presence of a formal dining room, basement, attic and living room, amount of storage and living space, type of heat, presence of central air, and type of siding. If you plan to enlarge a home, check with your realtor to make sure construction is a possibility. For added assistance, century21.com has a buyer's checklist that you can download.