Buying a Home in Today’s Market

We hear a lot about how hot the real estate market in Springfield, MO is, but what does that mean for a buyer?  Does that mean it is a bad time to buy?  Not at all, with the low-interest rates available, now is a great time to buy that move up home.

Finding a new home is both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.  It is hard enough to find the perfect home, now you also have to worry about getting it under contract before someone else swoops in and buys it.  With homes selling quickly, buyers are missing out on their dream homes because someone else got their first.

For buyers, this can mean a change of how you approach home buying.  A good start is spending more time upfront figuring out what you need in a new home versus what you want.  This will help you find your dream home quicker so you don’t miss out.

Most home buyers invariably face trade-offs. Your realtor can play a key role in helping you sort out your options. He or she can also offer important insights specific to your local market.

Buying a home is a big decision that involves thinking about many different needs and desires. In order to pinpoint your best options, your realtor will want to know as much as possible about your preferences.

In addition to discussing basic parameters (such as square footage and price range) it’s helpful to have a detailed conversation about your top priorities, in terms of features, location, and lifestyle.

These questions can help get your thoughts flowing:

  1. How long do you imagine living in this home?
  2. Who will be living with you (now and in the foreseeable future)?
  3. Describe your ideal location (e.g., on a quiet street, with a great view, or in a walking neighborhood, etc.). Why is this important to you?
  4. What style of home would you like to live in? Do you have a preferred floor plan, architectural style, etc.?
  5. What interior features are most important to you? (such as space for entertaining, a home office, high ceilings, hardwood floors, etc.)
  6. In terms of the exterior part of your home, what features are most important? (space for kids to play, privacy, sunny/shady, attached garage, etc.)
  7. Is it essential to have convenient access to certain other amenities, such as public transportation, schools, a fitness center, an expressway, etc.?
  8. Describe any need-to-have or need-to-avoid issues. (Non-negotiable requirements that can’t easily be added or modified later.)

Often, open-ended questions like this paint a clearer picture of where you want to live, as well as raising important considerations that may have been overlooked if you limit your conversations to “basics” like the number of bedrooms and baths.

Envision yourself in your new home and share your story with your realtor. It will bring you one step closer to turning your dreams into reality!

Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, it’s time to further refine your home search with wants versus needs.  This extra step will really help you zero in on that dream home.

Here are many of the considerations to decide need/want, you’ll want to discuss with your Realtor:

Basic Home Features

– Desired number of bedrooms and baths

– Basement

– Preferences regarding kitchen, dining, family rooms, etc. and preferred home layout

– High-priority home features, such as kitchen appliances, fireplace, etc.

– Other types of rooms needed (e.g., a home office or a hobby space)

– Storage spaces (closets, a basement, an outdoor shed, etc.)

– Need for a garage or parking space, and if so, for how many cars?

Other Home Preferences

– Ranch, two-story, split level, etc.

– Age

– How important is energy efficiency or other green home features?


– Commuting considerations (to work, shopping, etc.)

– Proximity to desirable features (such as a community center, exercise facility, school, hospital, etc.)

– Views—how important is it to find your ideal view (overlooking a park, for example) or avoiding a bad one (a busy highway)?

Lot Characteristics

– Size and shape, including back, front and side yards

– Landscaping considerations—the need for open play areas, privacy, patio space, decking, etc.

– Home orientation—is it important for your home to face a particular direction?

Life at Home

– If you’ll be sharing your home with children, pets, live-in parents or others, how does this impact your housing preferences, both now and in the future? (For example, pets may require a fenced-in yard; older parents may dictate one-floor living.)

– Proximity to neighbors

Related Costs

– Homeowner association fees?

– Property taxes


– How much do you want to invest in a home beyond the purchase price, either financially or in terms of sweat equity, if you can’t find exactly what you want?

– Are you willing to consider other neighborhoods that provide better affordability?


– How long do you plan to live in this home? How does this impact the type of home you will buy, how much you’ll spend, and your choice of location?

Once you have narrowed your search, you are ready to look at homes on your short list and buy that new dream home. Click here to search for homes

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