Everyone has a wish list for their ideal home. For some people, it might be simply a certain neighborhood plus x number of bedrooms and a home they can afford that doesn’t look like it will fall down. Other people only like a particular style, or only want homes that are new or new-ish. One couple I helped recently was willing to live almost anywhere as long as they would have room for their four beloved dogs at a price they could afford. And then there are the people that are hopeful but unrealistic. Their wish list of criteria is simply unrealistic for the market conditions, because there are so rarely homes available that have their whole list of right number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, in the right part of town, with a view, without any neighbors that look shabby, on a quiet street, in good condition, at the relatively low price they want to pay.
It’s not that it never happens, its just that it happens so very, very rarely. The truth is that if the house had all that, it would probably be priced higher! And in the meantime, many other homes that they like a lot, but aren’t just absolutely perfect, get sold to other people … and the market prices are increasing. So if they keep on going this way, soon they won’t be able to afford as much house as they could when we started this process! Sometimes I wonder if I actually DO manage to find a home with all the criteria that this client wants, will there just be other criteria that they produce, because they are actually scared of making the commitment to buy a new home?
Buying a home is kind of like dating. Some people keep holding out for Mr. or Ms. Right, trying to find the absolute perfect mate and they end up single forever because they are actually scared of making the choice of one slightly imperfect person. People don’t really fall in love on a first date like a lightening bolt hitting. Homes are like that too. As you go househunting, don’t dismiss each house so quickly. Keep an open mind. Take another look at the home and see if it has the POTENTIAL for you to fall in love with it. Does it have good “bones?” Does it have good traffic flow, or a great location? Maybe it needs to have a wall taken out to improve the light and flow. Or maybe it isn’t even really the house you can love forever, but it’s a great price and one you can tolerate for two years, build some equity and make some money on, and then be able to buy your dream house (unlike dating, it is ok here to begin planning your divorce right from the start ;->). Maybe it just needs new paint and maybe bathroom tile and cabinets and drapes — again, kind of like that TV reality show Beauty and the Geek — sometimes those guys just really need a makeover and some houses do also!
My point here is that if you have been looking and looking for a home and not finding what you want, perhaps your list is unrealistic. Try editing it down between the Must haves (you must have so many bedrooms, for example) vs. the want to have (you WANT to have x number of square feet). Then let your Realtor (hopefully ME!) know the difference between the Musts and the Wants. Pretty soon you’ll be moving into your new home … and falling in love all over again.