I wrote Keys to Home Buying Happiness and listed 5 points that I thought would help a buyer navigate the market. The first key is Setting Realistic Expectations.
We are all guilty of wanting a little bit more than what we can comfortably afford. It’s human nature to think we might be able to get our dream house at a bargain price, but realistically we need to work through a process of adjusting our expectations to the market until our budget allows us to do otherwise.
I encourage a 3 list process; Non-Negotiables, Negotiables, Ideals.
The Non-Negotiables can be whatever you want them to be. These are the items that if everything else were perfect, you’d still not pursue the house if they were missing or present. Each buyer gets to figure out what these are for themselves, but I often make suggestions. Examples are you must be in this school district or you won't live in that school district.
Negotiables are items you’d like to have, but if everything else were perfect, you’d live without. Sometimes the presence of enough negotiable items, can make some buyers reconsider some non-negotiables, but that is always up to them.
Ideals are the items that would be great to have, but within your budget, location and other restraints you aren’t expecting. If I know what these are and I see a home that contains a few of your ideals, I can pass them along for your consideration. An example might be you want to be within a certain city limits or school district as a non-negotiable. An ideal would be waterfront. If we find a home that is outside your location limitations, but has other factors and is also meeting this ideal, wouldn’t you like to be the one to decide?
As the process unfolds all of these criteria are subject to change. I fully expect and encourage that. If you don’t start with one set of goals however you never know how close you might get to hitting them.
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