Agent Rebecca: Compromise When Purchasing A Home
by Real Estate Sales Representative Rebecca Johnson
Very few of us have a bottomless barrel of money to purchase our next home with. If we did, we’d be able to buy the perfect home with all the finishes we adore in the location we’ve been dreaming of. But sadly, that’s just not the case for all of us with a budget we need to maintain! That’s why you may need to compromise on a few things when shopping for that “diamond in the rough”. Remember though: that doesn’t mean you have to settle for something you hate. It’s just a matter of being flexible! Here’s a quick list of things you should and shouldn’t compromise on when you purchase.
LOCATION: No matter how many renovations you do to the home’s structure, if it’s in an area of town that you despise, you’ll never be happy. So narrow your search to areas that you truly could see yourself living in! And before you decide that a particular location is way too expensive, investigate which properties in that area fall within the budget. It’s likely this will mean compromising on size, condition – or perhaps both. Over time you’ll be able to update the home to your standards, but at the very least you’ll be in the neighbourhood you love.
PRICE: When you find the home you love and it ticks all of the boxes for you, what’s the one thing that usually stops a Buyer from making an offer? The price. A wise person once told me, “if it takes an extra 5% to buy this property and you can see yourself being here for the next 20 years, spend the money and buy it!” Over 20 years, that extra 5% will work out to be peanuts per month. But if it’s just way too far out of your budget and you’re going to be spending every night worrying about where next month’s grocery money is coming from, it’s time to step away. Your mortgage broker will give you a good idea of what you can comfortably afford. Listen to their advice!
SIZE: Houses that have more bedrooms & bathrooms tend to be more expensive. Decide if you really need that extra guest bedroom or that finished basement right away. Perhaps there is some benefit to having a smaller yard, or only one living room (as opposed to a separate living room, family room and rec room). Truly assess what you and your family need and make compromises where you can.
LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITY: Sometimes it’s just not feasible to get into the neighbourhood you love at the price you can afford. So that means you’ve got to look for hidden opportunities. Try looking in the next neighbourhood over from the one you love. Ask your Realtor® where your city’s next up-and-coming neighbourhood is going to be. Find out where the best bang for your buck can be spent. This is especially true if you’re a first-time homebuyer. NOBODY (and I mean NOBODY!) gets into the real estate market buying a palatial estate with marble counters and travertine floors and gold plated faucets. Unless you’re building a brand new home, there are going to be things you’ll want to update and renovate to your own tastes. So look for the opportunity! If the the changes you want to do are only cosmetic and not structural, renovations can be relatively inexpensive and done at your own pace. However, the renovations are going to be extensive and push your costs above and beyond what a move-in-ready home would cost, it might not make sense for you. Crunch the numbers first.
Whether you’re looking for your FOREVER home, or even a home FOR NOW, be open minded to each home you see! Prioritize what is important to you in your next home: your MUST HAVES, your WANTS, and your DEFINITELY NOTS. That will help you and your Realtor® find the property that you and your family will love for years to come!