There are a lot of choices out there. More homes to choose from than have ever been available. Foreclosures, short sales, move-in ready homes…for some buyers it can be a merry-go-round of which homes you like best, which one is the best for you, etc. And the problem is, there are always more new homes coming on the market every day. You keep seeing homes but you just can’t decide. The problem is – low prices and interest rates are not going to last forever. But the biggest problem is the homes you like are not going to wait forever either. Someone will buy them and you are left with regret. There are other buyers out there and if you like it, so may someone else. But there is always something keeping you from making your move.
How do you know when to say yes to a home and get off the merry-go-round? Here are a few tips and tricks to give you some clairty.
Process of Elimination: Define what you want, don’t bother with the rest. After you have seen a few homes, you should get to know what you like and what you don’t like. If you don’t want to do any work, forget the foreclosures and probably older homes. They all need some kind of work. You will not be able to take advantage of some of the savings of a foreclosure home, but you will be able to eliminate a number of homes that you will not like and are attracted to just because of the price. Remember, the pictures are not always the home. Look at homes that have been recently rehabbed. Look for move-in ready in listing comments.
If you do not want to draw out time or are easily heart broken, stay away from short sales or low-priced foreclosures. Short sales take months to resolve and more than 50% of them don’t work for one reason or another. If you are not patient or if you get too emotionally involved – eliminate them from your search.
And if you get easily heartbroken or frustrated, don’t look at short sales or low-priced foreclosures. Many low-priced foreclosures are priced below market in order to entice a multiple offer situation. Often buyers get easily frustrated because they bid on multiple offers and keep not getting the home of their choice.
Use scientific method: Home buying can be a very emotional experience. You want to feel connected to your home, but you also want to make the right decision. Sometimes separating the emotion from the equation and using a scientific method helps make the decisions easier. Assign a numbering system to major things you want/need in a home. The price, location, size of the yard, room sizes, rooms included, upgrades, etc. Give each item a number and then add it all up. The numbers never lie. You really did it yourself – you assigned each number, which indicates how you really feel.
Stop looking for Mr. Right- Find Mr. Right now. This is a home, not finding a mate. It is not the rest of your life. This home should last you an average of 5-10 years – maybe more. It should suit most of your wants and needs and make financial sense. It does not have to be love at first site. It doesn’t have to be perfect – there are always trade offs. But it needs to be the one for you right now. If a home satisfies most of your needs and wants and it is a good investment, you will learn to love it. Ask yourself two questions. Can I see myself living in this home? If this home went off the market, how would I feel? The right and true answers are the indicator. Also remember – there is not just one home for everyone, but if you wait too long, the ones you want will be gone.
Listen to people, but not too many people: If you made every decision in your life by committee, you would never leave your home. Friends and family you trust can be a good resource for information. And you can and will listen to them. Take all of their information and take it in perspective. Most people you know are not experts in real estate. There are a lot of rumors and stories of “someone I know….” The most important thing to is to include your Realtor in your group of consultants. They are the experts and will be able to tell you exactly what you want to know and give you the real truth. If you don’t trust them and their experience – don’t use them. You wouldn’t let everyone choose the cut of your hair or the medications you take for an illness – trust the expert you chose or find one you can trust to help you.
Cold Feet?: Just like Goldilocks, if this one is too cold and this one is too hot…what if one is never right? Is your hesitance to buy the homes have to do with the homes or are you just getting cold feet? Buying is a big decision, but you can’t move forward if you don’t take a step. If you are looking at home after home and it is always something that prevents you from buying, you really need to think if you are sabotaging your own efforts because you are scared. Again, it is a big decision, but you wanted to do it for a reason. Buying is nearly always a good decision. You can waste money on rent and never get anywhere. Or you can live with family and never get anywhere. Focus on the reason you started to look for a home. Keep your eye on the prize and use the above tips and tricks to figure out the right home for you right now.