Buyer Preparation Part 3: Needs Analysis

Buyer Prep Series


Insufficient buyer preparation when searching for a property is a recipe for disaster. If you fail to prepare, the process will be long, frustrating, and filled with disappointment. Much of the work I do is with first-time buyers because it brings me great satisfaction to help people achieve their goal of home ownership. Unfortunately, many buyers make the same mistakes which prevent them from achieving their goals. I’ve created this educational series to help my clients improve their chances for success, and to better prepare them to navigate the highly competitive Vancouver real estate market. The real estate industry is evolving, and I will continue adding to and updating this series as necessary.

PART 1 – The Importance of Working with a Realtor is available HERE

PART 2 – Financing Your Home is available HERE

PART 3 – Needs Analysis

There are many factors to consider when searching for a home. Part of my job as your Realtor is to help you identify and prioritize your needs through conversations and client coaching. The basics of a home (size, bedrooms, bathrooms etc.) are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to performing a needs analysis, but by far the most important factor to consider when buying your home is LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! In fact, most buyers are willing to sacrifice space in exchange for a location that will reduce their commute and increase the quality of their everyday lives. We need to dig deep and identify your motivations so we’ll focus on the WHY, WHERE & WHAT .

Let’s first establish something important – chances are we’re never going to find your ‘perfect home’. Unless you have an unlimited budget and timeline, this would be nearly impossible to achieve. Really, the only way to get that perfect home is to design & build the property from the ground up, which isn’t an option for most buyers. What we will do is focus on finding you a safe, solid, and secure home that you can enjoy for a price that you can afford. It’s also rare to find a property that is truly in move-in condition; most buyers will want to make some changes and put their personal touch on a space so try not to focus on cosmetics – those are an easy fix. Adding your personal touch is one of the most enjoyable and inspiring steps in purchasing a home so always look for potential.

WHY are you moving?

  • Growing family
  • New job/school
  • Reduce your commute
  • Up/downsizing
  • Retirement
  • Investment

WHERE do you want to live?

  • Neighbourhood
    • Recreation, community centres, schools, parks, beaches, shopping, restaurants, nightlife
  • Area
    • Urban/suburban, city zoning, community plans, future development, city infrastructure
  • Commute
    • Access to transit, cycling infrastructure, highway accessibility, walk score

WHAT type of home you want?

  • Property type
    • Single family home, townhome, duplex, row home, condo, vacation property
  • Ownership structure
    • Freehold, strata, co-op, leasehold
  • Property features
    • Bedrooms, bathrooms, lot size, square footage, age, finishes, building amenities, parking
  • Other/special features
    • Construction methods, sustainable building materials, LEED certification, energy source(s), electric vehicle charging

The needs analysis outline that I’ve provided above will give you plenty to think about. Every buyer faces a unique set of circumstances, and as your Realtor, I will help you establish and prioritize what’s most important through a needs analysis. Our parameters will be dynamic and constantly evolving as we search so try not to get too focused on any one aspect – we will revisit and revise our search as necessary.

Our lives are constantly changing and our families will grow so we’ll work together to achieve a balance between your present and future needs. Remember, most people need to make a few steps up the property ladder to reach their dream home. Searching for a property is an educational and eye opening process, and with proper buyer preparation we’ll find you a fantastic property to call home!

| An aside on URBANISM |

Your neighbourhood will directly contribute to your quality of life. Buyers often become focused on the type of home they want, which involves driving away from the city until they can afford what they desire. Unfortunately, what they neglect to factor in is the physical and mental effect of that commute on their lives. In Vancouver, the dream of owning a single-family home is out of reach for most of it’s citizens, but as we adapt to that new reality, we’re also learning that smaller homes in an urban environment can have a significant impact on our overall happiness. During your search, maintaining an open mind and willingness to explore different neighbourhoods and housing types will increase your options and hopefully lead you to a happier, healthier life.

Time is a finite resource. When we reduce our commutes, adapt to urban lifestyles, and get out of our cars we can improve our well-being both mentally and physically, and we can spend more time with the people that we love. If you’d like to learn more about the growing movement of urbanism, check out this piece by Vancouver local, Adrian Crook, who is behind the successful 5 Kids 1 Condo blog.

Next week: PART 4 – Preparing the Offer

Chris Lambert | 604.340.6457 | | |

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PART 1 – The Importance of Working with a Realtor is available HERE

PART 2 – Financing Your Home is available HERE