One of the first things that happens when a person decides to buy a home is the creation of “the list.” Anyone who is shopping around for a new home has such a list. Some may be super short with just a few of the must-haves and others may be longer than a Real Housewives what-to-pack-for-a-weekend-get-away checklist. From gas stoves..... pools..... formal or casual living room..... fireplace or no fireplace..... number of bedrooms..... bathroom count..... big yard or no yard, your list is extremely customized to you, your family, your needs, and your wants. No two lists are every the same because no two homeowners dreams are the same. However, there are common requests that seem to pop up more than others.
Here are 6 of the items most likely to be found on a home buyers list:
Location. Location. Location
This is the #1 thing on the list. The only difference is how general the home buyer is when describing their desired location. Some will simply want the home to be in a certain county while others are very set on a specific city, town, neighborhood, and even street. Let's face it, we all want to live in the Triangle's wealthiest zip codes. Which brings us to our next point.
It is very rare (if not unheard of) that a home buyer will have a sky’s the limit type budget. Many have set a maximum price range that will fit the family budget without breaking the bank. The key is to be realistic. The list can’t look like a Kardashian Christmas list with a budget that resembles that of a college student’s savings account.
Of course, a family with children will most likely have the school district as a top priority but so will many home buyers without children because, let’s face it, buying a home located in a desirable school zone is just plain smart. It may be a benefit now and it will definitely be perk when selling the home in the future.
Move-In ready home?
Whether the home is a fixer-upper or the home buyer wants to add a bonus room to make it their perfect dream home, there is additional time needed and additional costs associated with any renovations. The home buyer needs to always do their homework and know what they are getting into. What may look like a simple task of moving a bit of plumbing so the washer and dryer and go on a certain wall, may turn into a huge checking account draining (not to mention, stressful) endeavor.
Have you ever gone to an auto dealership with the intention of buying a sensible family car until the salesman shows you the awesome red convertible of your dreams which is impractical for your needs and way outside of your price range? While you may have good will power, you must admit that for a split second you dreamed of driving off the lot with that beauty. When it comes to buying a home you need to be sure that you are not over buying. Discussions with the realtor should include the current value of the home, the trends in that area, how to add value to the home after the buy, and how to help maintain a fair value should the housing market take a turn that is unfavorable to sellers.
It’s not enough to know the cost of the home; that is the sticker price. Be fully aware of other costs such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, is there a Homeowners Association (HOA) and if so what are the monthly fees? Do they levy assessments for larger projects in the neighborhood? On a more personal note: home buying is a very emotional decision. When walking into a home for the first time, you begin to imagine the dinner parties you will host, the children having sleepovers, your home office, and where you’ll have your morning coffee. That’s perfect! You want to make sure that you get that “vibe” of comfort that makes the home a good fit. However, don’t let the emotion cloud your business savvy. Remember the car dealership and the red convertible? Enough said...
For more great tools to help you make a fully informed decision, grab our Free Guides for both sellers and buyers. No pressure. We aren’t going to contact you. In fact, we won’t even ask for your phone number. Our job is to provide the info you need so you can begin to move towards purchasing your dream home. Enjoy your Free Guide and should you want to talk, we’re here for you.