A “Needs” & “Wants” Checklist when Buying a Mid-Century Modern Home


As one of the first home-buying steps, draw up a “needs” and “wants” checklist when buying a mid-century modern home. It helps focus your search, provides your real estate agent with clear direction, and makes it easier to make a decision if you find more than one property that appeals to you.

The “needs” are the things you have to have—deal-breakers if a home doesn’t provide them. “Wants” are the features you’d like to have, but they’re negotiable. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell the difference, but think things over and be honest with yourself. Your “wants” list will be useful in making a choice between multiple properties.

To help you create this checklist when buying a mid-century modern home, we’ve listed lots of the most common considerations pertaining to home-buyer needs and wants.


Basic Home Features

  • Minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Minimum square footage
  • Extra rooms (e.g., den, home office, dining room, finished basement)
  • Closet and storage space needs
  • Garage or Carport Needs
  • Energy-efficient features

Basic Home Lot Features

  • Acreage
  • Yard layout
  • Yard maintenance needs
  • Landscaping
  • Gardening possibilities
  • Outdoor amenities (e.g., deck, covered patio, pool, grill station)
  • Fencing and privacy
  • Home orientation
  • Ability to add on and expand the home

Neighborhood and Location

  • School zone
  • Work commute
  • Proximity to dining, shopping, schools, gym, entertainment, hospital, etc.
  • Prevalence of families in the neighborhood
  • Street and neighborhood traffic
  • Walkability
  • Proximity to neighbors
  • Views

Associated Costs and Financial Considerations

  • Property taxes
  • Average utility bills
  • HOA fees
  • Priority upgrades or renovations
  • Property value trajectory
  • Nearby residential and commercial development

Mid-Century Modern Home-Buying Considerations

If you love the style and features of the mid-century modern homes throughout the Phoenix area, that’s a great way to narrow your home search. In fact, we have a handy home search tool here on our site that lets you find homes based on factors like the designing architect, the decade they were built, and more.

When you’re writing your “wants” checklist when buying a mid-century modern home, include the classic mid mod features you most hope to get, whether it’s the large window, breeze blocks, incorporation of the outdoors, or other traits.

Also, consider what your priorities would be as far as upgrades and renovations are concerned. There may very well be ways you’d prefer to modernize a home built in the 1940s, ’50s, or ’60s. Home features like master suites and spacious bathrooms that strongly appeal to us today simply didn’t exist in traditional mid-century modern homes.

And just to mention it, we also specialize in upgrading, renovating, and expanding mid-century modern homes that stay true to the original style and character of the property. Take a look at some of our many successful projects. We’ll be happy to assist you in gently transitioning your mid mod home to something that retains what you love about it while catering to contemporary living.

Buying or renovating a mid-century modern home in metro Phoenix?

Count on our expertise to get you the home of your dreams! Get in touch today.

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By Ryan Smith

The founder and president of Mid Mod Phoenix, Ryan is passionate about mid-century modern architecture, real estate, modernism, restoring homes, designing beautiful living spaces, ASU, and enjoying life in the Valley of the Sun. To learn more about any of these topics, get in touch with him at ryan@midmodernphoenix.com.

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