Home Buying Step Seven, Recapitulation.
If after your home visits in Step Six, you have found the home of your dreams, skip this step and move to Step Eight, Writing the Offer. If you are more confused after seeing some homes, this is where you belong.
Recapitulation is musical or biological term meaning repeat or reconsider. If you are following along, you've been pre-approved (step 1), selected your Realtor (Step 2), decided where you want to live (Step 3), outlined your priorities for the next home(Step 4), discussed all your findings with your agent (Step 5) and visited some homes(Step 6). If you didn't find your perfect home the question is, "Why?"
Step 7, if needed, is to review all your previous decisions in light of what you have seen on your home tour.
Is your location not what you had hoped? Are you missing too many of your priorities? Does your budget not fit your preferences? Has your agent listened and provided good choices and advice?
It's common to find that you wish you could afford about 10-20% more and get into the next level of home. This is not unusual from entry level all the way up to luxury buyers. 10-20% seems to be a magic number which says, comfortable not greedy. If you can afford more, through sensible budget choices, consider it. Often times being house poor for a time is a sacrifice people make until their careers kick them up a notch or two in pay. On the other hand, recent history has taught us to be careful, as real estate values do not always increase. These are decisions only you can make. It's possible you just didn't find the right house and need to see a few more on your search. Finding the perfect home doesn't always happen right away.
What if you do find the perfect home, but you're not sure? You found a home you liked, but you think, "It's too early to make such a big decision." Always remember, you are not the only one looking. More times than I can remember buyers have let a good one get away and lived to regret it. By following an established proven method of buying, you increase your odds of finding the perfect home early. In step six I told about clients to whom I showed a home with wild wall paper and pink carpets. They lucked out; it was still available months later. This is the exception not the rule.
If after reconsidering all your choices, you did find the right house move on to Step Eight and write an offer. If not, review the previous steps and make the necessary changes. We all start out with an ideal home in mind, but our budget, commute, the available inventories and other factors will demand we compromise from our ideals. Adjust as needed, but remember your ultimate goal, a home of your own.
Sorting through your priorities is a personal matter, but here are some things to keep in mind. Paint, carpet, countertops, cabinets, landscaping (just to name a few items) can all be changed for a relatively small amount of money or a little effort. Location, School District, Size, views are not easily changed. If you find a great location, but the interior is drab or needs updating it may be a good investment of your time and money. If you can see past some things, you may find a good bargain and great home.
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