Identifying your housing needs is a great first step in the process of finding a place to live. Just be sure not to blur the line between need and want.
A friend-of-a-friend recently posted something very similar to this on Facebook:
We’re moving to the Tampa area, and we are looking for a house with the following features: four bedrooms, three baths, two car attached garage, schools rated at least a 9 on Great Schools, less than 20 minutes to MacDill, a large, level, fenced back yard, and willing to do a three year lease.
I have to admire him; he had identified his needs and was looking for a house that was going to fit his needs exactly. Good for him.
Then, in the comments, there were links to a wide variety of houses that fit the descriptions. An in response to every link, the original poster found fault: not available at the right time, too expensive, whatever.
Maybe you need to decide what is really important to you. There is a big difference between a want and a need. And seriously, you can’t classify all those things as needs. It just won’t work.
Is it the three year lease? Great. Be flexible with the other stuff.
Do you absolutely have to be within 20 minutes of MacDill? Okay, you might not get the price you want.
Are schools your highest priority? Then flex a little with the other stuff.
It’s great that this person has identified his wants so clearly, but I think he’s mis-stepped with his implementation. The fact is, you’re unlikely to find each and every feature when you’re looking for a rental house. The same thing is true of any other major decision: buying a car, choosing a college, getting married. They all require compromise and assessment of your true priorities.
Part of growing up is realizing that you can’t have everything, all the time. Otherwise, you’ll never be happy.
Sure, I want to live in a safe, family-friendly neighborhood, with a pool and National Blue Ribbon schools, and have it be 10 minutes walking to the Pentagon, and have six bedrooms and four bathrooms and be $2400 per month. And I want the bathrooms and kitchen to be modern. (I really hope you are all laughing a little right now.) Ridiculous? Absolutely.
Identifying your wants is great, but more importantly, you need to identify the one or two that are truly your highest priorities. Flex a little on the rest, and you’ll be a lot happier. (And I suspect the people around you will be a lot happier, too.)
Do you want to know more about your military pay and benefits?
Things change fast around here! Keep up-to-date with email alerts about the topics that are important to you!