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THE REALITIES OF BUYING A HOME
I love working with buyers; it can be one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Whether you're a first-time-buyer or not, the experience of buying a home is a journey. It can be emotional, educational, frustrating, exciting and rewarding all at once - which can also make it feel a little overwhelming at times.
Lately I've been having more and more conversations with buyers about reconciling their expectations with their budgets. The thing is, no matter what the price range is, there likely will never be a "perfect" house. Something will always need doing, or won't tick one of your criteria boxes. I usually ask my buyers to make a list of their WANTS and another one for their NEEDS. The important part is to know the difference between the two, and to be realistic. If your budget is $180k, you probably won't find that triple attached garage or 2000 square foot multi-tiered deck with hot tub and a stage for that Cirque du Soleil troupe you hope to host one day...
You'll find one house with the perfect yard, another with the location you want, another with a better layout, while this one has the best kitchen etc. etc. You may find that as you search a few houses your answers to the WANTS & NEEDS columns change. This is a great exercise! Learn as you go what you truly want, but keep an open mind and accept that their will be tradeoffs. Is the kitchen more important to your lifestyle than that yard? Is proximity to that school or playground the most important thing?
The average buyer looks at something like 12 houses before buying, though some buyers out there will look at more like 50-100! Usually when agents hear that someone has looked at 40 odd houses, little alarm bells go off in our heads wondering why. It can mean that the buyer didn't feel heard or wasn't seeing the homes that they thought they wanted to, or they weren't properly informed and educated about the process, or that perhaps they weren't a "serious buyer". More often than not it means that they needed to have more realistic expectations of their home search. If you're feeling frustrated in your search for a home, take a step back, breathe, and have a conversation with your REALTOR®. It's important to keep the lines of communication open with your agent, and with yourself, so that you can find the best home for you! When you find it, you'll know and you should be excited about it!