What do you “Need” and “Want” in a house?

Everyone moves for different reasons,e.g., to be closer to work, because of a change in finances or because they need a larger home for an expanding family or there are changes in the family structure and so on. Once the search for another house starts, people often forget the real reasons for the move because they focus only on the specific features of the houses they visit: this is not good.

It is important to remember at all times why you want or need to move. Do not get carried away by tempting details you encounter (but don’t really need), such as the sweeping staircase that curves upward from a marble-floored foyer, the spa like enquire bathroom or the gourmet kitchen with seating for eight (especially if there are only three of you who will live there). If your family is small but you love to cook, you are sure to find a house with a smaller, yet still fabulous kitchen that you will enjoy. Maybe your extended family gets together for holiday celebrations or you love to entertain, so you’d like a house with a large family room or great room for partying. Maybe you are a passionate gardener and long for a house with an oversized yard. You need I 0 tailor your search to your personal needs and wants - and avoid buying something too small (where you’ll be cramped, crowded and unhappy) or too big (where the initial outlay and continuing upkeep will be far more than you may be able to afford).

Why not make a list of your requirements and desires right at the start? This way, you’ll be able to focus on finding a house that’s neither too big nor too small, in a style you like - and that fits within your budget. Presumably you have already chosen neighbourhoods where you’d like to relocate (see “Pick the community that feels right for you”) and know that they would suit your family’s lifestyle. Consider your housing needs now and what you’ll need or want in five years ‘time.

Answer these questions and you’ll have a comprehensive wish list:

  • How many are there in your family? Are you planning on having more children? Or do you have children who will be leaving home soon? Could you be looking after aging relatives in the Future?
  • What type of house do you hope to buy: a single-Family detached house? Or a semi-detached house (one of two houses joined together by a common wall; it’s usually less expensive than detached)? Or are you looking for a townhouse, row house or condominium?
  • How many bedrooms do you need now and in the near future?
  • How many bathrooms?
  • Do you want a separate dining room or do you prefer the eating area to be part of the kitchen or family room/great room?
  • Do you require space for a home office?
  • Would you like to have a “quiet” room, where the children will do their homework? And a separate games room, where they can play and enjoy their hobbies?
  • Is a fireplace important to you for cozy gatherings?
  • Are you a keen gardener and would love to have a beautifully landscaped property, perhaps with space for a cutting garden and a plot to grow your own vegetables?
  • Do you need lots of storage space?
  • Do you have frequent visitors whom you’d like to accommodate in a guest room?
  • Do you need a garage? For how many cars?


Buying a house that will become your home is one of the most exciting events in your life. If you are thinking about, or are in the process of, buying one, chances are you are finding it to be both an emotional experience and an intellectual exercise. If you are well informed, focused in your search and aware of some common pitfalls that are best avoided, you’ll discover that it can also be a thrilling, enjoyable and satisfying process. Maybe even fun!

Regardless of how many houses you have purchased before, choosing the “right” one involves a series of very important decisions. A home is more than the four walls that surround it. It is the right community with the right resources and the right schools. ...and more. Experts in many fields can help you with the process, so that it stays an exciting event and does not become a stressful one. Here are some key things to consider while you’re on the hunt, and steps to take before you make your final choice.

When you buy or list your home with Gayles’ Homes 4 U, you can rest assured that you will be working with the best possible team available.