Home Buying Tips: What You WANT vs. What You NEED

First, I’d like to wish you a happy and healthy New Year!
Now, on to the blog:

Being realistic is one of the biggest problems facing potential homebuyers. Many people dream of owning a mansion with every possible feature and amenity.

But unless you have an unlimited budget, you might have to give up a few of those dream features. What it really comes down to is figuring out which things are WANTS — and which things are NEEDS.

It’s helpful to ask yourself:

Where Do I NEED To Live?
We all know the old adage: “Location, Location, Location.” But most people need to live near work, or at least near major roads that make commuting easier. And if you have children, an area with good schools, culture, sports and activities is a “must-have” for you.

What Kind Of Home Do I NEED?
Sure, a 10-bedroom, 8-bathroom mansion with an indoor pool would be great. But do you (or anyone except The Brady Bunch) need all that? A few things you DO need: to know your minimum number of beds, baths and square feet; a list of locations to consider; and a good idea of what you can afford. (A pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is a great start.)

Which Amenities & Features Do I NEED?
You need to think about what’s not negotiable for your day-to-day life. If you need a home office (a den, study or a spare bedroom), put that on the list. If a double oven is a must because you host lots of dinner parties, put that on the list. But as cool as it might be to have a heated, indoor, Olympic-sized pool, you probably don’t need it unless you’re training for the 2016 Summer Games.

Please remember: the better you are at identifying your WANTS — but focusing on NEEDS — the faster you’ll find the home that meets your needs and your budget.

You WANT and NEED a real estate agent who takes the time to help you make the best possible decision. I’m that kind of REALTOR® — so contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!


© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.


Why I Love #Frisco (Texas)

There’s a bumper-sticker saying for people like me — ”I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!” (Available for purchase here and here.)

Both my husband and I are from Northeast Philadelphia, but in 2006 we were looking for new opportunities in a warmer climate. But California and Florida seemed too expensive, and my husband landed a job with a company in Texas.

So we moved here, and we love the Texas heat — and even more, the mild winters. (For example, I wrote this in early December when it was still 80 degrees!)


We first lived in east Plano, then west Plano, and then Little Elm. But after a few years here, we looked around and determined that we liked Frisco — for a lot of reasons:

Location, location, location.
Frisco is located about 30 miles north of Dallas, and close to major highways that get you anywhere throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in about an hour. It’s 4 hours north of Austin or to Galveston, where many cruise lines do business. Also, it’s an hour or two from a couple casinos in Oklahoma — Winstar (Thackerville, OK) and Choctaw (Durant, OK).

Frisco Downtown Water Tower

Frisco Downtown Water Tower

A developing city with growth opportunities.
Over the past couple decades, Frisco has enjoyed huge economic and population growth. And why not? Home prices are much more affordable, and the cost of living here compares very favorably to the East Coast and the West Coast.

Fun for the whole family…for real.
Yes, plenty of suburbs claim to be “a great place for families.” But with top-rated schools, unique schools and programs for music, dance, art and even cooking, and every sport you can think of (see below), there’s never a dull moment.

The Frisco Discovery Center has some amazing programs. And even the Museum of the American Railroad is moving here!

Every level of athletic competition.
Texas is famous for its love of sports — and no matter your game, age or skill level, you’ll find your game being played here.

There’s the usual sports like football, baseball, soccer, basketball and yes, hockey in Texas (the Stonebriar Centre has a rink in the middle of the mall!). Plus, more specialized competitions such as gymnastics, equestrian and even bicycle racing at the Superdrome. You’ll even see cricket and rugby being played at public parks.

And if you’re more of a fan than a participant, you’ve got plenty of options as well. Right in Frisco, there’s FC Dallas Stadium (home to our MLS franchise) and Dr Pepper Ballpark, where the Frisco RoughRiders play minor league baseball. Plenty of Texas Rangers made their way through Frisco before becoming big stars!


I love calling Frisco “home,” and I‘d be happy to help you fall in love with it too.

If you’re thinking about moving to Frisco — or any of the other great cities next door (Plano, Richardson, Allen, McKinney, Prosper, Little Elm, Celina, The Colony, Lewisville, Carrollton…did I forget anyone?), then contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

A few other Frisco links of interest:

City of Frisco

Visit Frisco

Frisco Parks & Recreation

Frisco Chamber of Commerce

Frisco Economic Development Corporation



© 2012 by Shannon Rubin.