Whether this will be your first home purchase or your tenth, you are undoubtedly looking for the perfect home for you and your family to come home to every night. Houses are major purchases and often the most valuable asset that most people will own, so it is natural to seek out one that checks all of your boxes. Unfortunately, this pursuit of perfection can often get in the way of finding the dream home that was in front of you the entire time. Even worse, sometimes finding the perfect home means making compromises elsewhere that can dampen your enjoyment of your new house over the long-term.
Instead of searching for your platonic ideal of a house, keep these tips in mind to keep your house hunting grounded.
Don't Let Your Budget Be a Suggestion
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when house hunting is to ensure that your budget genuinely is your budget. Many house hunters "stretch" their budgets because they are not honest with themselves about how much they are willing to spend during their initial planning. If you are sure that your maximum budget is the most that you can afford, then be sure to stick to it no matter how tempting a more expensive home might be. Remember that your mortgage will not be your only long-term cost and maintenance and property taxes can take their toll over time. A true dream home is one that will not add undue financial stress to your life.
Don't Allow Your Requirements to Suffocate You
While your budget should be a hard limit, your requirements should not be. Early in the process, list a few must-have features or amenities that are not willing to give up. Revisit this list often during the process, but commit to never adding additional items to it. Instead, consider removing items as time goes on until you have only a mean and lean list of minimum requirements. The fewer deal-breakers you have, the more potentially acceptable homes you will find. This might take your search in directions that you didn't expect, but that can be a great way to discover a house that you never knew you would love.
Don't Rush In
Finally, always make sure that you take your time and perform your due diligence. If you've found a house that's within budget that checks all of your boxes, then it's time to begin the sometimes lengthy process of having that home thoroughly inspected. The perfect house may sometimes have lurking problems, so it is crucial never to skip this step. Keep in mind that just because a home has issues, that doesn't mean that you need to move on. Many problems are fixable and you will often able to negotiate with sellers to reduce the cost or to have the issues fixed before closing.
By taking your time and sticking to a plan (and budget), your home search is sure to lead to the perfect house that won't break the bank.
For more information about houses and real estate options, contact a local resource.