Andrew Wetzel's Musings

May 27, 2017

How to be a SERIOUS Buyer! Part 4 (of 7)

Filed under: Uncategorized — awetzel @ 3:20 PM

Features are such an important and potentially emotional aspect of any house search that I wanted to discuss them a little further.  I firmly believe that a serious house search has to have a specific price range (please include a “starting point”.  Using “0” may expand the results but will almost certainly include a number of houses that will need more work than you are prepared to do AND fewer features than you really want.  Like so many things in life, Real Estate is an example of “you get what you pay for”), a few (I really mean a manageable few!) well- researched areas and a minimum number of bedrooms and bath rooms.  Buying a house is a major, long-term investment.  One of my philosophies is that a house should be “something you grow INTO, not OUT OF”.  That being said, the REAL dilemma arises when a Buyer (or Buyers) start to consider their “wish list”.  This will make or break a house search as I discussed in my last post.

When I talk to Buyers about what they “must have” or would “like to have” in a house, I frequently find myself discussing “trade-offs“.  Perhaps you (the Buyer) can’t get everything you want now but, with proper planning, you can eventually.  This is where “trade-offs” may come into play.  Psychologically speaking, some people accept NOT getting everything they want better than others.  If you are someone who needs to “get it all” and if you manage to always get everything you want, that is fantastic but unrealistic for most of us.  Life involves “trade-offs”.  That doesn’t have to mean permanently giving up something, only “delaying it”.  If you can’t get everything you want in a house, a serious Buyer should not stop looking.

“Trade-off” to me does NOT mean living somewhere you don’t want to live; it does not mean being “house poor”; it does not mean using a garage as a bedroom, etc.

Here is what I mean by “trade-off”:  perhaps there is no Family Room on the main floor but the basement can be finished (there are safety regulations to consider!) or there is a garage that can be converted or there is room for a future “addition”.  There is no central air conditioning but the house has forced/ hot air heat delivery (vents instead of radiators).  There is no garage but there is ample room for off-street parking or storage (such as room for a storage shed).  There is no fireplace but there is room to add one later.  Someone who is handy might buy a one-floor house and raise the roof.  Some things, like not having a basement, may not be easily overcome.  Buying in that circumstance may not be a “trade-off” unless one or more other aspects of the house cannot be found elsewhere.

The key is being able to analyze and evaluate your choices and, let me be clear, it is your choice.  I only suggest that you keep your options open.  I know that some Buyers want to buy the house that Mom and Dad took years to buy and fix up.  If you can do that, great.  For most of us, we start small and build up to our dream house and part of that, especially if you are doing this with someone else, is working towards that goal.  We will not all accomplish all of our goals but the fun is in the details.

Life is a journey not a destination.

Thank you for reading.

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