We will take the next few posts to discuss your home search itself.
I recently heard something in a seminar that bears repeating here: Buying a home is not a Process of Selection. It is a Process of Elimination. Unless you have unlimited funds, the perfect lot and are custom building your home, the likelihood that you will get everything on your wish list is, well, slim to none. I like to ask right up front what your goals are. And then, I want to prioritize those goals.
The first home we ever bought was one of several plans available by the builder in the neighborhood that we wanted to live in. We had some choices that we could make with regard to flooring, paint, fixtures, etc. However, we could not redesign the structure of the house or change our lot. We accepted what we could not change in order to get the location that we wanted at a price we could afford.
For our second house, the one my kids grew up in and the one I still live in today, we used a custom builder and we took one of his floor plans and changed it to better suit our needs. And yet, as soon as the home was complete, I already had a list of things I would have done differently if I had thought about it and, more importantly, had the money to do it.
There are buyers who will look at a handful of homes, run through their priorities and make a selection, getting the best of what is available and knowing if they want to change something in the future, it is possible.
Then, there are buyers who are determined to find the perfect home on their first pass. They will spend weeks and weeks looking at many homes, only to be disappointed time and again. They will walk away because of current flooring, cabinets, counter tops, even paint colors. This causes them an undue amount of stress. And all of these things are easily fixed over time.
In the process of searching for a home, it helps to know your goals, set your priorities and be flexible. And revisit those goals and priorities as we go. Certainly, some will change as you make this journey. Still, we want to keep the ultimate goals in mind.
Next time: Setting Search Priorities.