It is a hard lesson at times, finding out that you cannot get what you want for the price that you can afford to pay. I was out looking at homes with a relocation client today. They are relocating here from Houston, Texas. It is a much different market here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Managing expectations are very important.
Some Differences that I have Discovered between Texas and Iowa:
1. We have basements. This can be a huge selling point. Here in Cedar Rapids there are many ranch options with full finished basements with large daylight windows or walkouts that make you feel like you are in a 2 story home. No dingy basements here in their price range!
2. Ranches are better for resale than 2 story homes. In our market, gone are the days where the family 2 story is the most popular floor plan. The days of requests for a formal living and dining room are gone too. Open floor plans with a larger eating area are more popular now.
3. No Home Owner Associations and Very Few Gated Communities! Although there are a few exceptions, HOAs are limited, for the most part to condominium developments. This means that we do not try to control the color of someone's front door, the way that they choose to landscape their yard or the color of their siding.
4. In a 2 story floor plan, there is not always a separate tub in the master bath....especially in the price that they are looking in anyway. If they were able to afford about $25,000 more, it would be a standard to have a whirlpool or garden tub AND a separate shower.
When the wife arrives in a couple of weeks, this will be a culture shock for her. It will be an adjustment. But managing her expectations before she gets here is paramount. This is not a case of champagne taste and beer budget, but just a difference in the standard features of homes in Texas compared to Iowa. We can find the best home to meet their needs in their price range. We just need to know what is a must have and what is a would like to have. Wish me luck!