Must Have’s and Have Not’s, Part Two

Last week, we started taking a look at a checklist of items that every buyer should focus on when getting a home. The priority list should include location, size of home and lot size. Why are those the first and most critical pieces to buying a good investment? Go ahead and reread Part One of this series at

Today, I want to focus on the things that you could live without and probably could sacrifice if you are buying a home on a budget.

1)      Condition: Believe it or not, condition of the property does not make the top three in the priorities list. The reason is simple and that’s because even the worst properties can be fixed up. Now, I know that you are buying a home on a budget and may not have the resources to fix it up, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. A project can happen slowly overtime, and if you are even remotely handy, it can be done with some classes at a home depot, a small budget, and a little hard work.

2)      Garage: It’s always nice to have a big garage. These days it seems like the three-car garage is the norm and some people can’t even fathom living with a two-car garage or no garage at all, but it doesn’t make the priority list. If you have to make some cuts and you can’t get everything you want, think about sacrificing here. Would you want a smaller house, but a bigger garage? Or a smaller lot and a bigger garage, or even a three-car garage, but a bad location? The answer is no, no, and no. Location, lot size, and size of the home will trump a garage any day.

3)      Layout: I hear this more often than you would think, “I don’t like the layout.” Layouts for the most part can be changed as long as you are not attempting to move a load bearing wall. Plumbing, electric, HVAC, and yes, rooms can be changed or moved.

Remember, stick with the big three priorities: location, lot size, and size of the home. If you did well in those three categories, you got a great buy and a home that will be a good investment.

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at and

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