With mortgage rates getting ever higher, new homes keep getting more expensive. So how do you ensure that your new home will meet both your needs and your budget?

There are a couple of ways to go about this, but the simplest method is to start prioritizing. Make a list of your home buyer priorities, and categorize them into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” With a clear list of features you can’t live without, it will be much easier to find your dream home. Read on for more information on these two categories and what goes into them.

The Must-Haves

As the name implies, the must-haves are things that a house needs to have to fit your lifestyle. Some common examples include:


How close is the house to your workplace or loved ones? Are you better suited for an urban area where you can walk to entertainment or a quieter location in the country? City life is more expensive, but most people looking for a new home would say that’s worth it.

Number of Rooms

How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? If you’re planning on having kids, you may need more rooms in the future. If not, you may still want your own fitness room, but that’s more of a nice-to-have. Keep in mind that smaller places can appear larger with the right layout.

Square Footage

Many home buyers focus on getting maximum square footage for the price, but this may not always be the best idea. For example, some of that square footage may require renovations. Look out for homes that offer unfinished spaces that you can convert into living spaces.

The Nice-to-Haves

The nice-to-haves are the features you’d like, but you can ultimately live without them. The more of these you can get, the better! Some examples include:

Energy Efficiency

Today’s home buyers are a lot more energy conscious than they were even a decade ago. These days, it’s all about eco-friendliness, from water-saving fixtures to windows. How much is the money you’ll save over the long run worth to you?

Updated Kitchen

It’s a cliche, but it’s true: the kitchen may be the most important room in the house. A fully equipped kitchen with features like granite counters and stainless steel appliances is a big plus for many home buyers. Plus, an updated kitchen means you don’t have to remodel it.

Open-Concept Floor Plan

Does the idea of a house that flows together sound appealing to you? If so, you may be interested in a home with an open-concept floor plan. Without walls separating your living and dining areas, your house can feel more spacious – perfect for an active family!