As I was out showing a property this past weekend to a young couple wanting to purchase their first home, I was again reminded that there is no perfect home. I was also reminded that, like this couple, the more realistic and savvy buyers understand the need for compromise.
But isn’t compromise a sell-out suggesting a lack of discipline? On the contrary, a willingness to consider both the positive and negative features of a home and weigh their relative importance is essential. When looking for a home in any price range, even where the grandest of properties are concerned, I can guarantee that there will be something about each that you will find less than ideal.
The key is to know which imperfections are mere nuisances and which are fatal flaws. Particularly when purchasing your first home, emotions are running high. You are going from zero to something, and you have to start somewhere, so you may be more inclined to overlook a few negatives. But, you are the one who is going to have to live with them, so it is critical to make sure that while you aren’t sweating the small stuff, you are recognizing the truly important things.
Location –There are a million little things we can lump under the category of location including neighborhood, schools, view, and lot size to name a few. You can fix and remodel a lot of things, but you can’t move the house.
Room count — You need a four-bedroom home but the two-bedroom home is so darn cute and perfect in every other way. If you find yourself suggesting to your spouse that the twins’ bunk beds would fit nicely in the laundry room or the garage, keep looking.
Lifestyles and stages — Do you plan to have children? Do you have teenagers who will be moving away soon? Are you close to retirement? Will you need a home that can accommodate different stages of life? Is this the fixer upper till the next home or the “forever” home? 5 year, 10 year plans?
NOT SO MUCH:
Whether you’re purchasing a brand new home or a resale property, investing in your first home or your next one, buying a home is a big decision. In fact, it’s probably the single largest purchase you’ll ever make, so you want to make sure that you make a well-informed decision.
A sense of humour helps. The laughs are there if you look hard enough!