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Great Home Expectations (Part One)

Brian Wescott, Davis James Homes’ sales manager in the Roanoke office has made an observation about some of the customers that come through his door: Many times, mainly younger buyers’ wants exceed their budgets. Brian explains, “Having never built or purchased a home before, many first-time homebuyers have high hopes about what some popular features actually cost… a lot of them are coming directly from living at home with their parents, and they want to surround themselves with the amenities their parents had, forgetting that their parents have worked 20, 30 years or more to get that home. Often times, I need to work with them and separate their “wants vs. needs.”

Wants and needs are often confused, and it is important to understand the difference between the two from the very beginning of the homebuilding process. Your “wants” are the non-essentials, things that are on your wish list and that you would love to have but can really live without, at least for the time being. “Needs,” on the other hand, are your must-haves. They are your true essentials that you are either unable or unwilling to compromise on. For instance, the hidden gourmet in you may long for a gas range, but an electric range will suffice to accomplish your budget realities.

First Step

Start by making a list up front with your partner. Write this list down on good old- fashioned paper, and share it with your homebuilder. Also, be prepared to make edits to this list. Edits should be expected! List your priorities. Divide your list into six categories:

  • Features and amenities you truly need.
  • Things that must be achieved now, or they will be cost prohibitive or impossible to do later
  • Features and amenities you really want.
  • Things that can be done later, saved up for, or when you get a good tax return or end of year bonus.
  • Features and amenities you don’t care about or would like to upgrade but could live with if need be.
  • Deal breakers (those that you cannot possibly tolerate).

This is the first in a multi-part blog. Stay tuned for the next blog which will delve deeper into this topic. If you would like to learn more about David James Homes, or to speak with one of their talented home specialists, go to to find a location near you.

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