Have you ever watched someone fall in love?
…with a home that is? 🙂 It is an incredible experience to watch a home buyer find the perfect home. Just like in dating, not everyone falls in love the same way- or at first sight. Usually when we fall for a person, it’s an evolution from attraction, to dating, to mutual respect and caring, and then to love. The problem is not many people fall in love and worry, but what if there is something better? Or what if someone could steal my mate? Whereas with home buying this is usually the buyer’s first thoughts. So how do you know if you’ve found “the one” ? I break it down to three points.
1. Does it fit your lifestyle?
The first question I pose to a client who thinks they may have found their perfect home is – does it fit your lifestyle? If the seller and listing realtor have done their job the home should look great- at it’s best in fact- so it’s easy to get caught up in the whimsical feelings that professional photography and staging evoke. I urge clients to look at their daily life and what your family needs to function, i.e.: commutes to work, grocery stores, schools, Starbucks ;), parks, gyms— anything really that makes up your professional and personal life. I don’t care how beautiful a home is or how good of a deal— if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle then over time you will begin to resent your home’s location and how it doesn’t mesh with your life. My advice: Go to the locations that make up your daily routine and observe; introduce yourself to neighbors; visit the schools; sit in the Starbucks; talk to the people. Can you see yourself living here? Does this fit your family’s needs?
2. Would you be upset if someone else bought “your” house?
The second question I typically pose if a client is waffling over the right home: would you be upset if this home went under contract by another buyer? This question is supposed to evoke an emotional reaction -“Hey thats MY house- They can’t have it!!” If you would feel disappointed or even angered, I would suggest locking the property down ASAP. For some buyers, they have to lose a few properties before they come to this realization— which I totally understand. Buying a house is huge commitment and the largest purchase most consumers will ever make. So making sure its the right “fit” is an absolute priority.
3. Can you see yourself here for 5+ years?
The third question: Can you see yourself here for 5+ years? Some people like to move around and only live in a house a few years. But most buyers in the market stay in their house for at least 5 years. And because its a big decision, I always ask my buyers whether they think they can grow with their house. What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years? These are all questions a buyer should ask when deciding on a house. Plus, in an ever changing market, you’ve got to be ready to ride out the ups and downs— and through these changes, you should want to be happy with your house.
It’s easy to break this down from my perspective- having watched it happen so many times, but when you are in it- emotions can override. It’s my professional responsibility to make sure my clients are making a good investment, but really, I want them to love their house. The process can be hectic and overwhelming with so many factors that go into finding and buying the right property – just as in love, it’s my advice to trust your heart.