Love or lust? How to choose your next home. Ever fallen in love with a house way over budget? Or had a crush on a house that’s too far from work? Danielle Edwards, a fellow RE/MAX agent offers helpful advice to keep buyers on track during the homebuying process.

Eager to get into a new home, buyers can often find themselves fantasizing over a property with bells and whistles that make it enticing, even though it’s not a great match. Add in low inventory, and buyers can be frantic to lock down any house. This can be especially relevant for first-time homebuyers who come into the process excited with high expectations. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, first-time buyers made up 34% of all homebuyers in the U.S. in 2021.

It meets your essential criteria

Which features are must-haves, and which would simply be an added bonus? Before starting the homebuying process, make a comprehensive list of wants versus needs. Sticking to this list while browsing for homes can help eliminate properties that drive the lust factor but don’t actually suit the needs of you and your family.

Consider your lifestyle when making this list. You may say you want a spacious yard for entertaining, but think about how you actually live. Where do you spend most of your time when you’re at home because being realistic can help cross out some properties. It doesn’t make sense to get in a bidding war over something that you’re not going to use.

When determining essential criteria in a prospective home, it’s important to also consider which elements you’d like to be move-in ready and what you’d be willing to renovate down the road. Buyers can get caught in this rabbit hole of the ‘perfect house.’ In reality, there is no perfect house. Every house has its quirks, so you have to figure out what is right for you.

There will always be something to do to it to make it more personal, whether you need to add a wall to make a home office, paint the exterior or remodel the kitchen. No matter what house you buy, you’re likely going to be spending money to make it your own. For some buyers that’s immediate and for some buyers that will happen over time.

You can afford it

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage – a process where a lender evaluates and confirms your borrowing potential – can help determine how much money you can actually spend on a house. But remember: the price of a home is more than just the down payment and monthly mortgage payments.

Account for the essential homebuying fees for services like inspection, closing and working with a professional agent, and budget for unexpected home maintenance costs and regular repairs as well. In addition to furnishing a home, be prepared to deal with inevitable repairs to the roof, HVAC system, plumbing and more. Seasonal maintenance costs may vary depending on the local. Watering the lawn can cost significantly more in warmer months. Be prepared to purchase a lawnmower or even xeriscape a yard.

It’s near important points of interest (POIs)

When shopping for a house, it’s important to consider its proximity to places you frequent, like work, school, family members or a favorite park to walk the dog. Location is personal. Some buyers are willing to expand the boundaries of their home search in order to find a fully renovated home, whereas others will take on a fixer-upper to be in their optimal location.

Some people are focused on school districts, or they’re focused on a certain neighborhood and that makes it easier to narrow down their search. If you convince yourself to move to an inconvenient location because you found a house you like, you could end up wanting to move out shortly after moving in.

You feel at home in the community

If buying locally, and not sight-unseen, try to spend time within a desired neighborhood before purchasing a home there. Drive around the streets, go to the local park and talk to people who live in the neighborhood. This is something potential buyers can do even if you’re two to three years out from buying. That way, when you’re ready to buy, you have it narrowed down to where you want to be – and this is especially helpful when you have to act fast in a hot market.”

Ultimately, a qualified real estate professional is going to be your best source of information to discuss potential properties with and help narrow down which one is a perfect match. Whether it requires touring just one home that resonates or 50, a real estate agent is going to make sure they help you find the right one for you.

Written by LEAH CURTIS 02 11 2022

If you our anyone you know is considering making a move, I would be happy to meet and offer my expertise. A “PERSONAL” home evaluation is always FREE and my resources can provide a more arcuate picture of a homes potential value. I guarantee to sell your home fast and for top dollar.


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