Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations: Wants Vs. Needs

Wants Vs. Needs

Fancier than I'd buyI've always had a bit of a soft spot for timepieces.

By nature I'm a punctual person.  Even before my Navy days, but definitely reinforced with phrases such as "Time, tide and formation wait for no man" and "If you're on time, you're LATE!".

Now I know that essentially all watches are the same when it comes to the essential question of function:  "What time is it?". 

It's the presentation that makes the difference between a watch that appeals to me and one that doesn't.  I'm not much of a frills kind of guy.  Any given day you'll find me in khaki trousers and a polo shirt.  No rings, no bracelets, necklaces, just a plain approach.

I quit wearing watches for some time.  I'd broken my arm playing soccer and decided that I didn't need a watch because I could get the time (and a lot more) off my cell phone.

But every now and then I'd still get the itch and finally broke down a couple of years ago and bought a watch to wear.  Black on black on black, from facing to case to band.  Time and date functions only, not a chronograph, nothing fancy.  It met my needs without denting my bank account.

This morning an online ad caught my eye.  IMO opinion these timepieces are works of art, integrating wood and natural stone into the watches.  Really eyecatching and for what they are, reasonably priced. 

I WANT.  But do I NEED?  Not even close.  I can get along just fine with my existing watch.  There are certainly better places for me to spend my money.

So that brings me to real estate (as most everything does when blogging!).  When working with buyers, one of my tasks is separating the NEEDS from the WANTS so I can best help them find THE best house for this phase of their lives.

A true NEED?

Typically a certain number of bedrooms and baths.  A certain area of the city or school district.  A certain yard size.  A certain budget.  A certain floor for the master bedroom?

All things that the buyer MUST have or the house is off the table for consideration.

Then we get features that are typically WANTS.

Things like a fireplace.

A fenced backyard.

A pool community.

A walkout basement.

An extra garage spot for a workshop.


How do we differentiate a NEED from a WANT?

The bottom line is, if everything is present in a home but ONE thing, would you still be happy buying the home and living there? 

If the answer is NO, it's a NEED.  If the answer is YES, it's a WANT.


Keep in mind the more home features you make NEEDS, the smaller the selection of homes to pick from.  If we can't find a home that meets all your needs, it may be time to reevaluate whether one or more of your NEEDS should actually move to the WANT category.




More questoins about home buying or selling?  Just call/text  513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com and we can discuss how we can best help you!


Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers,

Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz


Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

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Comment balloon 5 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • February 03 2019 12:42AM


Hi Bill- that has to be one of the hardest things for a buyer to do...determine what they truly need vs what they want. Having a professional agent such as yourself can help buyers make that decision. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 7 months ago

Great analogy, Liz and Bill.  The needs are essential, but the wants can limit choices. Buyers need to prioritize and get the most house for their budget that they can that includes the needs, but perhaps a few wants.

Posted by Lynnea Miller, Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon (Bend Premier Real Estate) 7 months ago

You took me back to when my firstborn was still a kid at home. He was always telling me about things he really needed. No, but he did WANT them. I used to talk to him a lot about the difference between the two.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) 7 months ago

Hi Liz and Bill -- I got my first watch when I was five years old and almost religiously wore one for many years until I realized my cell phone was just as ever-present.   Recently, I have been re-thinking that decision too - not sure if I will return to those days but I can relate to your post. 

And like real estate, there are many connections I see for weighing wants versus needs.  A good example.  In real time and in real estate too.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 7 months ago

Hi Bill,
My Dad was a watch repairman and I had a watch from the time I was 7 years old.  Sadly, I don't wear watches much any more except for fashion purposes... so that's a "want".  My cell phone serves the "need". 

The truth is, our economy is want based.  If we only bought what we "need", the economy would essentially crash.  

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) 7 months ago