No House is Perfect
How to get to the Closing Table Faster by Redefining Expectations
Now I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but I believe finding the absolutely perfect house is like finding a unicorn. The only exception is if we are working with an unlimited budget, and even then I think it can be hard.
I spent a few years in my early career working for a new construction home builder. Most of my clients loved their homes. However, there was always a “I wish I would l have…..” or “I wish I would have known…..”.
It doesn’t matter if it is a $200,000 home or a $700,000 home, there is no perfect home. BUT if you let go of that idea it will be much easier to find the perfectly imperfect home. The house will become the perfect home once you start making memories in it.
I think the worst thing you can do as a buyer is to start a home-buying process with unrealistic expectations of what you are looking for. As I am sitting here writing this, HGTV is playing in the background. The buyer just said, “I am not a fan of hallways…” WHAT??? That just isn’t realistic. I have never seen a house with zero hallways, have you?
If you are a buyer with an unrealistic list of things you want, it sets you and your agent up for a lot of frustration, and possibly failure. But, if you take a logical and realistic approach to buying a home, you might be able to get to the closing table a lot faster and with a lot less heartbreak.
There are three basic things to evaluate in a house that will determine whether it is a perfect for you. One is the characteristics of the home. Two is whether it fits in your budget. And three is the location. Let’s take a deeper look at what each of these things means when buying a home.
Is it a need or a want?
Characteristics of a house are one of our first filters when evaluating if we are deciding if we want to walk through a house. This can be number of bedrooms, type of kitchen, pool, double sinks in the master bath, open floor plan, etc. Establish your top five characteristics, then decide if each one is a WANT or a NEED.
For me, a double sink in the master bath is a NEED. I am never going back to sharing with my husband. On the other hand, a 3 acre lot is a WANT. I am much more willing to compromise on the lot size if the house fits our family’s “needs”.
For my husband, a pool is in the NEED category. This will limit our options because of our location in Northern Kentucky; there just aren’t that many properties that have pools and are in the right location for us. An option for us is determining whether a pool can be installed on the lot after we purchase the home.
Determining Location and Budget
Location and budget are more straight forward than characteristics. You may have a set amount that you can spend and cannot go over it, or perhaps you want to live in a certain school district because you don’t want to change where your kids go to school. In both those cases, your location and budget will not be very flexible.
Occasionally, buyers compromise on location or budget. Fox example, if the location is right and the house has all the needs with a few extra bells and whistles, you might be willing to be flexible on the budget and spend a little more. The same is true for location: maybe you are willing to compromise location to get exactly what you want in the house and stay in budget.
Getting in Alignment
Once you have a final list your needs, budget, and location, take another look at your list and ask: Does the final list of “NEEDS” align with the location or budget? Let’s say that you have “new construction” as a NEED and you decided the location should be in an established part of town where the average age of a home is 50 years. While it might exist, it could be hard to find and might not align with your budget.
What’s Most Important?
For all you house hunters, can you rank the 3 things (characteristics/needs in the house, location and budget) in order to greatest importance to least? For me, it’s 1# location, #2 characteristics, and #3 budget. I am not leaving Campbell County and I am willing to be more flexible on the budget to get what I want in the house. My husband, on the other hand, would rank budget much higher, probably #1. It’s a good thing we aren’t moving anytime soon!
Understanding how these relate to each other, which one is most important to you, and what you are willing to compromise on will help you better evaluate each home. It will also help you when you have conversations with your spouse or partner if you are buying together. Finally, it is a huge help if your agent understands which items that are a true “need” and which ones are “wants”. They will be able to suggest the properties that will be the best fit for you. This will create a happier and fun home-buying process! Happy house hunting!