JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: How Much Home Do You Really Need

How Much Home Do You Really Need

Columbia, SC Real Estate


 One of the very first things that I do with a potential home buyer is make an appointment to sit down and see where they are in the process and to figure out their wants and needs. I usually take a very low tech approach to the wants and needs list, I just give them a sheet of paper and have them write down what they need in a home and then next to it write what they want in the home.

 One of the largest issues that I have noticed over and over again is that many buyers want a lot of square footage. This is simply a mindset sort of thing, but for one reason or another, I have seen many buyers that felt they really needed a lot fo space in their first home. Well, most of them are living just fine in a one bedroom apartment, so why on Earth do you need four bedrooms and a bonus room for two people, just because you are buying a home?

Columbia, SC Real Estate

 The fact of the matter is that almost everyone would love to have that huge castle on the hill, but that's the fairy tale that we've been fed and it's not practical. If you are living alone, or if there are just a couple of people, then the 3,000 square feet and six bedrooms is a little overkill don't you think?

 The other major issue with this mentality when buying a home is that it normally puts the buyer at or at least very close to the top of their price range. It's never good to do this, because it can create a huge burden and make you what we like to call "house broke." That basically means that you can afford your home, but not much else and you're better off just getting what you need in a home and living comfortable. Plus if anything happens, you will be able to carry a lesser mortgage easier than the large one at the top of your range.

 So while it would be fun, you don't really need that book store, Bistro, or gift shop in your home. Sure they're neat, but you're much better off keeping it realistic.






JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

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Comment balloon 10 commentsJL Boney, III • September 27 2009 03:49PM


JL --- I like your technique or having the buyers write down what they need vs what they want --- great post.

        Mama Liz

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) over 9 years ago

Hi JL, very good article, buyers always want bigger house but can not affort.

John Pusa

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) over 9 years ago

JL - That's a great approach you have. I have found most of the first time home buyers I work with have pretty realistic expectations - or NO expectations, until they sit down with a professional like you to show them what their money can buy. Book store, eh? I'd like a book store! ;-)

Posted by Karen Cooper, Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States (Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas) over 9 years ago


The Vanderbilt mansion would be about right size for me. Just kidding, great post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 9 years ago

Liz- It's just an easy, straight forward approach that seems to work.

John- Thanks, many of them want more than they can get at the start.

Karen- Some of them are realistic, I have dealt with quite a few that were shooting for the moon. Many of them have no idea what to expect.

Lou- It's a little small for me, I like my space.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

Well JL speaking as the housemaid here, the larger homes are not fun to clean or maintain either!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch, Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) over 9 years ago

The difference between want ansd need is often a fine line.  Realistic needs are usually attainable!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 9 years ago

Cynthia- No, they are really not. I do the cleaning around here, and I'm thinking about downsizing.

Bill- As long as they are realistic, we're usually alright.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

I have my buyers write down a must list and a would like list. It helps them to see what is really important. So far , it has worked very well and they all thank me

Posted by Pam Dunn, Relocation Specialist (RE/MAX Premier Choice) over 9 years ago

Pam- I have found it be a great way of putting things into perspective.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago