How To Create A House Buying Wish List For Your Dream Home

Buying a house is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. But there are LOTS of little details involved ? details which can be very costly if they are overlooked.

Unfortunately, I made all 10 of these mistakes when buying my first house. Even though I thought I was very prepared. But with so much going on, I still missed them...and cost myself THOUSANDS of dollars!

Which is why I created Now, you can learn ahead of time how to save yourself lots of money. So, here is the first mistake you should avoid when buying your next house:

#1: Know EXACTLY what you want before you start house hunting, AND put it in writing!

Owning your own home is a great feeling. It's the American dream. And it's one of the biggest purchases you will ever make!

So the more time you spend preparing, the easier your life will be.

One of the most important things you can do to get ready to buy your first house is to decide EXACTLY what you want - and write it down on paper.

Sounds simple. But over the next few months you'll see that the house buying process is one of the most intense, stressful, busy - and exciting - times of your life. So, BEFORE you start looking for a new house, it's a good idea to have a very clear picture of the type of house you want.

It's certainly helpful to have a picture in your mind. But as you get further into the process, you'll find it helpful to have a list you can refer to (especially when the "files" in your mind start getting overloaded!)

Of course, once you start looking at houses, your list can change:'ll find things you never thought of
...things you thought were important but may not be any more
...things you thought you could afford but can't
...and things you didn't think you could afford, but you can.

So don't be afraid to make changes.

When writing your list, think of all the qualities you want in a house...and in a neighborhood...and in a town (or city). Include EVERYTHING you think is important. While this won't guarantee that you will get everything you want, it will help you be able to prioritize what you think is most important.

Here are some of the items you should include on your list:

  • Town or city (which towns do you WANT to live in, which ones would you live in if you had to, which ones would you NOT live in no matter what!)
  • Area of town
  • School system
  • Type of neighborhood (With kids, without kids, close to highway or main road, out in the country, etc)
  • Type of house (Cape, Ranch, Colonial, etc)
  • Size of house (Square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, etc.)
  • Size of rooms
  • Layout of house
  • Yard (Landscaped nicely so you don't have to do any work getting it in good shape, not as nicely landscaped so you might get a better deal but need to put in more work, etc.)
  • Price (Are you willing to pay less for an older house or one that needs more work?)
  • Anything else that is important to you (For example, I knew I did not want a house on a hill. But our first offer was for a house on a hill. Which left me feeling very uncomfortable. Luckily, the deal fell through, but without a list I got caught up in the excitement.)
If you're not sure what to put on your list, take a walk through the house or apartment you are living in now. Take a walk through the neighborhood. Visit a friend or neighbor. The more information you have, the better!

(NOTE: If you are buying your house with someone else, make sure you ask your spouse, partner, or significant other what they think is important as well. If at all possible, try to combine your list so you can work together.)

Once your list is ready, put the items on your list in order of importance, so when you have a million other little details in your mind, you can look at your list and not have to rely on your memory.

So, do yourself a favor and find a quiet place, take a few moments to write out your list, put it in order of importance, and save yourself a bunch of stress!

Kris Bickell is the owner of, a site that helps first time home buyers avoid the costly mistakes that many new homebuyers make. For tips on buying a house, getting a mortgage, finding a realtor, and getting out of debt, visit:, or sign up for the free "How To Avoid These 10 Costly Mistakes When Buying Your First Home" email course at: © 2005

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