Similar to playing the dating game, finding the right home involves seeing a series of homes before finding "the one" and settling down, or purchasing. And much like dating, you may face a few heartbreaks before the right home comes along. But how do you know when you've found the right one? When is it time to move on? And how can one not become attached to a home?"
House-hunting is a journey. You could potentially see a lot of homes, love a little, hurt a little and through these varied experiences, you as the buyer will become informed and be provided a content when "the one" presents itself. After the ups and downs, you'll know when you've found the right home. If you need help along the way, you should contact a realtor in your area.
Home search heartbreak
Here are three tips for avoiding heartbreak in the home search process.
1. Prepare to get your feelings hurt by the seller. The seller does not have to sell to you. In today's market, even if you offer list price, it may not be enough to seal the deal. Another buyer may offer more, have a larger down payment, present an all-cash offer, negotiate a swift closing or put more favorable terms on the table. As a preventative measure, it's best to guard your heart and not fall too hard too fast because it doesn't mean the home is yours just yet.
2. Don't obsess over one home. As a buyer, you start off with a list of wants, needs, must-haves and deal-breakers. Often a home will have a to die for kitchen with stainless steel and granite countertops, an expansive backyard for the kids to play or a beautiful master suite – and then you fall in love with that one feature and ignore the other 10 things about the home that don't work for your needs. In your head it becomes the "perfect home" that you can't stop thinking about. While it is important to compromise, as a buyer you must also be honest about what works for you and/or your family. It's critical that you remain a focused buyer and not thrown off course by a fabulous home feature.
3. Don't fall too hard, too fast. The contract is signed and you think it's a done deal – Not quite! Many times a buyer and seller come to an agreement on terms and price, even sign a contract, only to have a series of issues come up in the disclosure and inspection phase. It's important to not get too comfortable with the idea that the home is all yours just because there is a contract. Anything can come up during the escrow phase. If at the end of the day things don't work out, be prepared to walk away. The more time you spend mentally and emotionally attached to a home, the bigger the chance that you'll miss out on "the one" down the street or right around the corner.
Embrace the house-hunting process
Buying a home is a journey. By touring a lot of homes and visiting open houses, you'll be able to see what's out there and learn the market. In the process, you may be met with frustration, but you'll learn a lot every step of the way. In the end, you will be better equipped and ready to identify the right home for you.
* * *
Hedy Goldman has lots of knowledgeable information to share. She has been practicing real estate since 1996 and is a 2010 gold award winner at Windermere Real Estate SoCal. Hedy sells all over San Diego, but specializes in North County Coastal. She can be reached at (858) 504-2334 or San Diego Realtor.