The Perfect Home Could Be the One You Perfect After Buying

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Mortgage rates and home prices are both higher than they were last year, which has an impact on what you can afford. At the same time, there are still fewer homes for sale than is typical. These are two of the most significant obstacles that buyers face today. However, there are ways to overcome these obstacles and still realize your dream of homeownership.

You'll want to be strategic when making a purchase this season. This includes taking a close look at your wish list and determining which features you truly require in your next home versus those that are nice-to-have. This will help you avoid exceeding your budget or narrowing your pool of options too much while looking for the perfect home.


Realtor.com's Chief Economist, Danielle Hale, explains:

“The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, . . . Another key point is to avoid stretching your budget, as tempting as it may be . . .”

Make a list of all the features you'll want to see to help you determine what you truly require. After that, work on categorizing those features. Here's an excellent method for organizing your list:

  • Must-Haves - If a house lacks these features, it will not suit you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and so on).
  • Nice-To-Have - These are features that you would like to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren't deal breakers, but if you find a home that meets all of the must-haves and some of these, it's a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, and so on).
  • Dream State - This is the state in which you can think big. Again, these aren't necessities, but if you can find a home in your price range that has all of the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it's a clear winner (examples: a pool, multiple walk-in closets, and so on).

If you only want to look at homes that have all of your desired features, you may be limiting your options and making it more difficult on yourself (and your budget) than necessary.

While you'd love to have granite countertops or a pool in your backyard, both of these features are potentially addable after you move. Instead, it may be best to concentrate on locating the things you can't change (such as location or the number of rooms). Then, later on, you can upgrade or add some of the other features or finishes you desire.

Sometimes the perfect home is the one you find after you've bought it.

Once you've organized your list in a way that works for you, talk to your real estate agent about your top priorities. They'll be able to help you refine your list even further, coach you on how to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your top requirements.

In conclusion

With current affordability issues and a limited housing supply, you'll want to be strategic in order to find a home that meets your needs while remaining within your budget. Let's connect to make that happen.

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