You have two dogs, three kids and need a big backyard. You found a perfect home, in your school district but the yard is smaller than the master bedroom. That’s ok though, right? Wrong.
So how do you keep from making a huge mistake? What do you do if you fall in love with a home that doesn’t match your bare minimum criteria? That’s simple.
Don’t look at homes that do not match your “needs”. If you “need” four bedrooms, don’t waste any time looking at a three bedroom home. If you “need” a garage, don’t waste time looking at a home without.
Before you even pull up listings on the internet, you and your family need to make a Needs vs Wants list.
You may want a fireplace, but you need a home with a basement. You may want a pool, but you need a home in a certain school district.
After you get done with your Needs vs Wants list, it’s important to remember something else. Every home has flaws. There’s no such thing as a perfect house. But the thing to keep in mind is which flaws can be fixed vs which flaws should be deal breakers.
For instance, let’s say that you looked at two different homes in different cities. Home #1 is three bedrooms (need), 2 baths (want) with a garage (want), a pool (want) and a gourmet kitchen (want). It’s in a questionable neighborhood in a less than desirable school district and has a small back yard (want: large backyard)
Home #2 is three bedrooms (need), 2 baths (want), no garage, country kitchen in a top 3 school district (need) with a large backyard (want). It’s priced $15,000 less than Home #1 because it needs some love. Nothing imperative but these maroon carpets and blue plaid ducks on the wall have got to go.
What do you do?
Look at both homes and figure out what is the biggest turn off about each. In Home #1 it’s the location and the small yard. In Home #2 it’s the interior design and colors.
Which can you change?
Well, you can’t pick up Home #1 and put it on a double lot in an excellent school district, can you?
You can put on some old clothes, turn up your iPod and get to painting Home #2 though, can’t you?
So how do you find the perfect home? In summary — get perfect out of your head. Figure out what your family needs out of this house. Be aware of flaws that can be fixed and flaws that cannot. And listen to your buyer’s agent. They are working with you for a reason. Once you tell them what your family is looking for, trust their judgement. Keep an eye on the bigger picture and you’ll be just fine!