Your New Home: A Needs Versus Wants Checklist

June 29, 2023

Your New Home: A Needs Versus Wants Checklist - Featured Image

Designing and building a new home is an exciting opportunity with endless possibilities. From choosing the right home model to the tiniest detail, every decision counts. However, the abundance of options can quickly become overwhelming. So, how can you ensure that you end up in your dream home?

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The key to finding the perfect home for you and your family is identifying your wants and needs. Creating a clear vision of your future home will help ensure your satisfaction for years to come, make the building process more manageable and you could even save money!

Remember, quality builders prioritize their customers’ satisfaction. By communicating your wants and needs, they can turn your dream into reality.

19152 22 Ave Living Room

What’s The Difference Between A Want And A Need?

Every homeowner has a different set of basic needs and wants. To help distinguish between the two, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this a practical necessity or a luxury item?
  • Will it improve my quality of life in the long run?
  • Do I need it to feel comfortable and content in my home?

Needs are basic necessities that are essential to a comfortable and functional home. These may include adequate insulation, good ventilation, plenty of storage or other features that improve the practicality of your space.

Wants, on the other hand, make your home more personalized and luxurious. Examples could include custom cabinetry, vintage fixtures, and high-end appliances. Although these features can significantly elevate the aesthetic of your home, they don’t necessarily add to its practicality.

Identifying Your Budget and Making Sure It Covers All The Necessary Costs

When you’re setting your home buying budget, knowing your wants and needs is a great habit to get into.

Your basic needs will usually be non-negotiable – they’ll be the things that are essential to your day-to-day living.

Once you’ve identified these and added up the cost, you’ll know the minimum amount you’ll be able to spend on your new home. You can then check this against your finances and see how you’re shaping up. If you find you have some extra money left over, great! This is money you can then allocate to some of your wants.

Kinglet showhome

Choosing The Right Type Of Home

The type of home you choose can greatly depend on your situation – do you want something in the city or are you looking for the countryside? Do you have a family and need more space, or are you just starting out as a single person?

You’ll have to consider what’s available in the area you want to live in and what you can afford. It’s important to keep expectations realistic here. You may be dreaming of a spacious four-bedroom house, but it may not be within your budget and could take longer to find and pay for!

Take some time to research the various types of homes available and match their features with what your needs and wants are. A condo might have great access to nearby amenities and make your life easier in the short term, but a duplex or single-family home could give you more outdoor space and allow room for a growing family. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision about the right type of home for you.

Finding The Right Floor Plan

Once you’ve settled on the type of home, it’s time to find a floor plan that works for you. It helps to look at several different options and see what suits your needs best – if you have young children, an open-plan layout might be a good idea, as it allows you to keep an eye on them even if they’re in another room.

It could also be helpful to keep in mind how you can rearrange the furniture in each room to suit your lifestyle. Some homes may come with pre-defined wall placements that don’t work for everyone; being able to move walls around (or have them removed entirely) can greatly improve the functionality of your living space. Always ask if this is possible when looking at a property so you know ahead of time what changes are viable and what aren’t.

Finally, when looking at floor plans, consider the location of windows in each room and how much natural light they will bring into your home; this can be a great way to save on energy costs and make you feel connected to your living space.

19152 22 Ave Bonus Room

Choosing Interior Features

Additionally, you’ll need to think about the interior features of your home. There are lots of options here, so it is helpful to make a list of what you need and prioritize them according to budget. If you have a limited budget, start with the essential items and then work your way up to more luxurious touches.

This is also where researching floor plans comes in handy – it can help you get an idea of what features are available (and how much they cost). Remember that these details may not be obvious at first glance, so take time to look into each option before making a decision.

Some interior features to consider include appliances, cabinetry, countertops, backsplashes, flooring, lighting fixtures and paint colours. Be sure to look for energy-efficient options as well; this will save you money in the long run and make your home even more comfortable.

When budgeting, be conscious of how each feature will affect your lifestyle – investing in higher quality materials may mean you pay more initially but could save money in the long run due to durability or lower energy costs. It’s also worth considering how your choices might affect resale value; for instance, granite countertops tend to increase property values even when other features remain consistent.

What Utilities Do You Need?

Finally, think about the utilities you will need in your new home. This includes water and sewer connections, electricity, gas or natural gas lines (if applicable), internet access, cable/satellite TV, and phone lines.

Most of these are usually already installed when you move into a house; however, if they’re not it’s important to factor in the cost and time frame for installation. Additionally, some services may require a deposit or other fees. Make sure to research this so you know what to expect and can budget accordingly.

If you’re living in an area that gets hot, air conditioning might be a necessity for comfortable living – so make sure to account for that in your budget as well. You might also want to look into home security options, like an alarm system or surveillance cameras.

Home Security Camera

Take Time To Research The Community Before Committing To A Purchase

For some home buyers, the location and lot of their new home are as important as what’s in the home itself. When looking for a neighbourhood to live in, it’s important to consider any personal or physical needs you might have.

For example, if you have a medical condition it might be beneficial for you to live close to a pharmacy or other medical services. If you have young kids, you might save a lot of time by living close to their schools or if you prefer, you could choose a neighbourhood close to work to cut your commute time.

By considering your own needs when looking for a location to live in, you can potentially save yourself a lot of time, hassle and money, allowing you to spend more time with the family and stretching the monthly budget a little further.

The Benefits Of Buying A Brand-New Home Versus An Older House

Many potential homebuyers are drawn to the charm and character of an older home. However, buying a brand-new home can also offer many benefits such as energy efficiency (which helps keep costs lower and save money in the long term), modern fixtures, and custom designs.

You may even be eligible for certain grants or tax credits if you buy a new home, such as the Built Green Mortgage Insurance Rebate when you built with Sterling Homes. Investing in a brand-new home also means that you won’t have to deal with the hassle and stress of quick repairs or renovations, as a new home is built to modern building codes and come with a New Home Warranty.

Check Out Quick Possession Homes

If you decide on a new home but need it fast, you might consider looking into quick possession homes. These are homes that have already been built and can be moved into within a few weeks. This is great for those who need to move quickly due to job relocation or family commitments.

Quick possession homes are usually fully finished and ready to go when you get the keys; however, they may not be as customizable and options could be limited compared to buying from floor plans.

That said, if you’re in a rush it could still be worth taking advantage of these opportunities – just make sure to do some research ahead of time so that you know what to expect and don’t end up with any surprises!

To help you better identify your personal needs and wants, we’ve put together this handy checklist which features many of the typical new home features you might have to choose from. You’ll find it on the following pages.

Fill it out to gain a better idea of where you picture yourself living, and keep your ideal timeframe in mind (1-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months) when deciding on the housing type you want.

Painting Dream Home

The Needs vs. Wants Checklist

Our tip: print a few copies of this checklist and fill it out on different occasions, spread out over time. The first time you fill it out, check away without thinking of costs or other variables. Then, with each time afterward, see if any of your “needs” can be changed to “wants”, and try to gradually narrow your choices down to a reasonable list that fits your budget.

It is possible to have a home that feels as if it was made just for you (and if you’re working with a flexible builder, it will be!). You’ll just have to know your unique needs (think of both practical and emotional needs) and wants, and the differences between them.

This list will help you get there, and can even be shared with your builder so they can help bring that vision to life! Check away… your dream home is waiting to be discovered.

The Needs vs. Wants Checklist

Housing Type Need Want
Resale: Maximum Age
New Home Build
Quick Possession/Spec Home
Detached Garage Home
Attached Garage Home


Size Need Want
Total Square Footage
Number of Bedrooms
Number of Bathrooms
Approximate Yard Size
Parking/Garage Size


Location Need Want
Inner City/Downtown
Commuter Town
Corner Lot
End Lot


Community Features Need Want
Family-Friendly Neighbourhood
Quiet Street
Homeowner’s Association/Community League
Walking/Hiking Trails


Floor Plan Need Want
Finished Basement
Separate Dining Room
Separate Living Room
Owner’s Ensuite
Flex Room: office, guest, playroom
Mud Room
Laundry: first/second/basement level?
Legal Suite


Interior Features Need Want
Energy Efficiency
Green Appliances/Design
Vaulted Ceilings
Build-In Storage (cubbies, etc)
Walk-in Closets
Walk-In/Through Pantry
Flooring: hardwood, tile, vinyl plank, carpet
Countertops: quartz, granite, laminate


Exterior Features Need Want
Siding: Aluminum/Vinyl
Outdoor Shed
In-Ground Sprinkler System


Nearby Need Want
Hospital/Medical Facilities
Grocery/Shopping Centres
Public Transportation
Major Roadways


Utilities Need Want
Air Conditioning
Water: municipal/well
Water Heating: gas/electric/oil
Sewage: municipal/septic
Central Vacuum
Security System


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About the Author:

At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers. It is through our uncompromising commitment to our customers that we proudly deliver the Sterling Advantage – that’s why each and every home we build includes a 10-year home warranty, a completion guarantee and new home warranty excellence rating. Our Advantage is our pledge that, when you build your dream home with Sterling, we will deliver a timely, well-built home you’re sure to enjoy for years to come.

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