Are you thinking of buying?
When it comes time to buy, take a moment to discuss with you realtor, and of course your spouse, these categories of criteria:
1) Desires - the things you would really like to have in the property you would are wanting to buy, but that could be skipped, knowing that it is unlikely for you to find a home that is perfect in every sense. You could call this category the "bonus" category.
2) Needs - things that are really important. If there is something missing on this list, you will probably keep looking, but if the house features something similar, you may retain it anyhow. In the example below, you may buy a home that is 25 minutes from work, but otherwise fits your criteria perfectly.
3) Absolute essentials - if these criteria are missing it will be an automatic "no", even if everything else is perfect.
Here is an example:
- maple trees in the back yard
- attached, heated garage
- 15000 sq ft of land or more
- wood stove / fireplace in the livingroom
- 4 bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms (or 1 + a powder room and separate laundry room)
- quiet neighbourhood
- 20 minutes from work
- available the 1st of June
- no big renovations to do
- not on a major road
- possibility of parking 2 vehicles or more
- not next to a pig farm
- under $250 000