First, a bit of a personal disclosure to First Time Home Buyers, I’m not your dream crusher and I didn’t kill Santa Claus. I’m about to say some things that lots of people might disagree with, but you deserve the truth before you make one of the biggest investments of your life and truth is rare to find when buying something with the assistance of someone who earns a commission from the sale.
There is no such thing as a perfect house. Let me say that again, searching for the perfect home is like looking for rainbow striped flying unicorns. It’s an impossible task suited for delusional people who spend enormous amounts of time searching for the non-existent, while passing up excellent real life opportunities. I call this condition “paralysis by analysis”. Anyone who tells you different is either very confused or unrealistic and setting you up for failure, frustration and a life of paying rent to make an investor’s dream come true.
In fact, the perfect home may never become a reality at all. After almost 20 years of home ownership, I am still improving my home to something closer to my idea of the perfect home. I spent my entire last weekend on my hands and knees tiling my front porch with slate, learning some important lessons along the way, but that’s another episode. I’m still not finished with this project, but it’s coming out beautifully and I love my home a little more because of my effort and increased beauty.
When First Time Home Buyers ask their Realtor® to help them search for that perfect home, they are asking for the impossible. Sure, we can scour the MLS and the internet looking for things that are important to a buyer, but many of the details that create perfection are so subjective that they cannot be entered into a database, so the yielded results will still have to be sifted through to discover the ones that are worthy of a visit. There’s no bullseye strategy for delivering a subjectively perfect home out of a database that requires data for search criteria because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Let me challenge you with a way proven to be more time-efficient and yield a result closer to what you consider perfect without the frustration that comes from failure. These key points will not only assist First Time Home Buyers, but also experienced real estate investors.
- List 5 things that you absolutely MUST have in a home. This is your list of NEEDS.
- List 5 things that you would LIKE to have in a home. This is your list of WANTS.
- With each of these NEEDS and WANTS, create a sub list of why these things are important to you. Include in the discussion, all co-buyers, decision makers and anyone else that would have influence in your decision making. This is where it gets interesting and I often find myself in the middle of a therapy session with family, as they disagree about why certain things are important. Please keep in-mind whose life will be directly effected by the choice and whose life won’t.
- List the WANTS in order of priority. We will not be doing the same for the NEEDS because they are criterion that cannot be negotiated or compromised away. You simply must have them.
- Take this list to your buyer consultation with your trusted Realtor®. By the way, if your Realtor® doesn’t think a consultation is necessary before they show you homes, consider someone more interested in understanding your NEEDS and WANTS.
At the closing, you won’t have the perfect home, but you will have a home that meets your NEEDS and WANTS that can be improved to be something closer to your idea of perfect and that you will love more and more with the blood, sweat and tears you experience as its owner.
Contact me for a consultation on your next big investment and we can go through the list of NEEDS and WANTS together.