Balancing Needs and Wants in Your New Home

Items to Consider When Balancing the Needs and Wants in Your New Home

Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, there’s more to the process than selecting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Your new home is a considerable investment, both financially and time-wise.  Balancing the needs and wants in your new home is crucial. You’ll want to confirm the elements you must have (need) and rank the importance of nice-to-haves (want).

By balancing the needs and wants in your new home, you’ll be in a better position to find the builder who is right for you. You will work together with a clear vision and goal in mind.


Needs versus Wants in a New Home

Let’s start with the basics by examining needs versus wants in your new home.

  • Wants: A want is something you can rank on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being most important) depending on how important it is to you.
  • Needs: A need is a must-have. You can’t rank needs on a scale. If something is an absolute must have, it gets marked as a “YES”.

Follow along and we will walk you through items to consider when balancing the needs and wants in your new home. Below, you will find common decisions people make before getting to the blueprints stage of building.

For this exercise, you’ll want to grab some paper and a pen. For each of the items listed below, rate it as either a need (yes) or a want (ranked on a scale of 1-10 – with 10 being most important to you).


  1. Choosing a Home Builder

Buying or building your ideal home starts with selecting your builder. If you limit your comparison strictly on house size, features and pricing, you would be assuming all other things are equal amongst builders — but not all builders are created equal. There are many fly-by-night builders in Saskatoon, and conversely, there are larger companies who may focus on quantity over quality. The Saskatoon Home Builder’s Association is a great starting point to discover home builders in the city. We’ve also written some helpful tips here that can help with your builder selection.

The first step is to balance the needs and wants when it comes to choosing a homebuilder. The items below will help you refine the qualities you truly care about.  Doing this will help you find a builder that is the perfect fit.

Consider and rank your needs versus wants with these points below:

  • Quality: Working with a builder who focuses on high quality craftsmanship and attention to detail is important to me.
  • Trust and Reputation: I have to trust the builder of my home and confirm they have a solid, proven reputation.
  • Service: The home building or buying process should be as smooth and streamlined as possible to minimize time and stress.
  • Communication: Collaborating with a builder who is easy to contact and quick to return calls and emails is essential.
  • Warranty: Having a comprehensive warranty on my home and working with a builder that goes above and beyond the minimum warranty is crucial.
  • Design Expertise: I prefer to work with a builder who has the expertise to create functional and inspiring designs that will make me love coming home.


  1. Neighbourhoods and Lots

Choosing the right home builder is only part of the process. You’ll also want to evaluate the needs versus wants when it comes to where you want to live. You’ll need to find a suitable lot, location and a great community where you’ll feel right at home. A skilled home builder can also help you find the ideal lot.

Consider and rank your needs versus wants with these points below:

  • A spacious backyard
  • Close to work
  • Close to schools
  • Nearby shops and amenities
  • Nearby green spaces such as parks and nature trails
  • A short commute to the downtown core
  • Nearby arts and cultural facilities
  • Nearby recreational facilities (sport fields, pools, rinks, etc.)
  • A new neighborhood
  • An older, more established core neighbourhood


  1. Functionality and Design

Your perfect home extends far beyond builder and neighbourhood selections. Now, it’s time to move into the finer details and balance the needs and wants in your new home. These are items that make your house feel like home. We’ll skip your preferred number of bedrooms and bathrooms for now – that’s the easy part.

Consider and rank your needs versus wants with these points below:

  • Wow factor. My home needs to look great.
  • I need a large garage for storage or workspace.
  • My home should incorporate environmentally friendly features.
  • I’d like the ability to add a basement suite now or in the future.
  • My house should be easily accessible for my needs today or tomorrow (bungalow style without a second floor).
  • I’d prefer an open-concept main floor.
  • A large, walk-in kitchen pantry is important.
  • My home should have the latest in smart technology – ability to control lights, sound, temperature, alarm, etc. via my mobile device.
  • I’d like lots of natural light — large windows are an important feature.
  • My kitchen should have a large island with seating.


  1. Customize and Personalize

Let’s take it a step further. Now, it’s time to stop and consider some of your own needs and wants that we haven’t mentioned above. Assess the needs of each person living in the house, and contemplate the big picture (overall layout, outdoor spaces, architectural style), room functionality (if you want a home office, gym, wine storage, etc.) and the finer details (exterior and interior finishing). Write each one down and continue balancing needs and wants in your new home.


Benefits of balancing the needs and wants in your new home

By doing this exercise you are honing in on what you really want. You are setting yourself up for less stress and a smoother build process!  You will have a clearer picture of what your ideal home looks like. Begin with your needs by selecting potential builders and/or homes that meet each one. Next, you’ll refine your list by starting with your highest-ranked wants. Choose the home or builder that matches all your needs and your most important wants. This will help ensure you’re thrilled with your new home and it remains a solid investment for years to come.

You’re now well on your way to buying or building a new home that’s perfectly you.


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