It’s true! House hunting requires the same common sense approach you apply to finding a spouse. Keep your emotions in check and don’t talk yourself into putting up with something that will drive you crazy later.
Its important to know what you’re getting into even before you start looking. A good agent can help you with this. It is imperative you find someone you trust and get along with because the agent will be guiding you through a pretty important decision and they can only help you to the degree that you are honest with both the agent and yourself. We’ve got a lot of GREAT agents here at Bob Parks Realty and Parks. I’m just saying…
Know in advance your wants and needs or every house you look at is liable to be the perfect home. This is so true. If you don’t know truly what you want and need, you will basically like everything you see, it’s how infomercials get you. You’re flipping channels and you see a specialized exercise machine. After about five minutes, you’re sucked in and you order it. Why?
When people are uncertain about a decision, they tend to look to outside sources (other people) to guide their decisions.
If you can’t afford it, don’t look at it.
You can’t “unsee” something you really like but can’t afford. You’ll think about it too long and it will magically become the Greatest. House. Ever. Avoid the temptation; don’t look out of your price range. Work up a budget, know what you can afford (allow for unexpected expenses and repairs) and look in that range or less. You can find a really nice house and be proud that you can afford it and also afford to make changes or renovations to customize the house to meet all your needs. And you can still afford to eat out and shop. Ever heard of the term “house poor”? It means living beyond your means – you are spending all your money on the mortgage and you can’t afford to enjoy your dream house because you’re on such a strict budget to just be able to make the payments. This is no way to live. Not only does it do strange things to your psyche but you might actually end up losing the house in the long run.
To thine own self be true.
Let’s say you’re a Bob Villa type, super handy, knowledgeable about home projects, but what if instead you are actually Tim “the Toolman” Taylor – you spend a good bit of time and money in the emergency room and paying others to fix your home repairs? Or maybe you just overestimate the time and money requirements of the fixer-upper you are looking at. The point is, most jobs are twice as expensive and time consuming as you expect – ask anyone who has done a renovation. There is no such thing as a contractor who finishes on time and under budget. Most fixer-uppers have hidden surprises that no one could have accounted for and it takes a lot more money and time than you originally planned for. If you choose to purchase a home that requires some renovations, have a realistic understanding, lots of patience and deep pockets.
There are plenty of fish in the sea.
Same is true of houses. The reality is this – you will most likely make compromises when finding the house for you. Unless of course you are lucky enough to build your million dollar custom dream home, and in that case, you’re totally not reading this blog. New listings come on the market every day. Do not let emotions cloud your judgment. A hard sell, a pressured sell, or your uneasy gut feeling is not usually the sign of a house that was meant to be. When I bought my house I lost it twice in two months to higher bidders. Two times the owners came back to me because I had the financials. My point? It was meant to be my house and I lost it twice before the deal came together. If your offer is turned down the first time, it could come back around, or there’s clearly a better house out there for you.
If you take anything away from this, let it be an understanding of the importance of knowing what you can afford and what you really want. You will be so much happier later if you figure out what you want and need now. Seriously, give us a call or shoot us an email – we really do have some great agents who would love to help you through this process.