As you search for your dream home, you probably have a list of must-haves and non-negotiables that you have factored in. Maybe this list includes a three car garage, all hardwood floors, or a large backyard. With low inventory and steep competition, your laundry list of requirements could bring your home search screeching to a halt. What happens when your search comes up dry? What happens when your search criteria pushes you out of your price range or target location? When your dream home starts looking more like a dream than reality, you may need to think about compromising.
Top 10 Home Priorities List
Our favorite way to start narrowing down a home search is by making a top-10 list. You can start by listing out all of the criteria you are looking for in a new home, then ranking them by level of importance. Some criteria that we take a critical look at during this process are interior features like flooring, fireplaces, or the location of specific rooms in the home (like a full bath on the main floor or a second floor utility room). It’s best to be realistic about what is available, rather than looking for the perfect cookie cutter home. We also like to point out that the colors of the walls or cabinets, or special features like air conditioning could be pushed to the bottom of the list because they can be added or changed later.
With that being said, everything is subjective. If having CAT5 wiring throughout the home is your number one priority, then it should be number one on your list. Once you have your new list, we can take your top-10 most important features and create a new home search.
The top-10 method is especially helpful if we are working with multiple buyers, like a couple or a co-buying situation. In that case, each person will make a top 10 list, then discuss their individual lists and combine them into one. This will be easy for shared or similar criteria, but more difficult for criteria that are completely different. Once the dust has settled and a brand new list has been created, we can move forward with the home search.
Looking at Price and Location
If the search is still unsuccessful, we might take a look at two of the biggest search criteria: price and location. These are usually the toughest criteria to compromise on, but they can greatly expand the results of your search. Because the market is so competitive, buyers often need to be willing to spend a little more or drive a little farther to find a house that fits the rest of their criteria. Bidding wars can drive up the price of a home to 10% or more above the list price (depending on the home and the amount of competition), so buyers need to be conscious of that window.
Additionally, if you are looking for a home that is close to work or schools, many other buyers might be looking in that same location. Steep competition can drive up prices, so if you are willing to add a few more minutes to your commute, it could save you several thousand dollars.
No one likes to compromise, especially when it comes to your home. When considering a new, long term place of residence, many buyers are hesitant to accept less than perfection. In an unforgiving market, sometimes sacrificing features or style is worth more than sacrificing funds. If this sounds overwhelming, we can help. At Gordy Marks Real Estate, we have over 30 years of experience in all kinds of housing market conditions. We know how to navigate the market to get you the most out of your home buying experience with the least amount of sacrifices. If you’re desperate to find a home, or if you’re just curious about what’s out there, send us a message. We would love to get to know you and your housing needs.