As a real estate professional, I have the opportunity to see a lot of great homes. And to be honest, a lot of really bad ones, too. It can be a lot like being a kid in a candy store with so many great options. My firends and clients sometimes ask me if I'm constantly finding homes that would make me sell my home and move. They ask,
Are you always seeing houses that you want to buy?
Well that is a good question. There are definitely some homes that I've helped people buy or sell that are amazing homes. Like anyone else, there are some that really get to me. Usually, they are the unique homes. A home with an unusual style or layout, a home situated on a spectacular lot, or a beautifully maintained and updated home can really get my attention. Sometimes over the top decorating can seem really fun and exciting. And I can really get swept away by a huge mud room, an organized vegetable garden, or a master bedroom large enough for my California King bed.
Whenever I find myself thinking seriously about moving into one of these beautiful homes I have to stop and tell myself what I tell my clients. I walk through the same 3-step process and consider the following factors: Location, Lot, House. Let's start by asking and aswering the following questions.
First - Location
Does this location work for you? Is it convenient for you? How is the commute? How do you like the neighborhood? Do the schools meet you criteria? Is it near mass transit? Is it walkable? Do you feel safe? At night? Is it near family or friends?
Again, Does this location work for you? If no, this is not the house. Stop considering this home.
Second - Lot
Does this lot work for you?
For houses and townhomes - How is this home situated within the community? Is it near the front of a development or does it take several turns to get to this home? What borders the property? Other similar homes? Rentals? Commercial Property? A school or house of worship? A playground? Is it an end unit? Is the lot usable? Level? Sloping? Private? Landscaped? High maintenance? Low maintenance? How is parking? Does the neighborhood offer amenities that are important to you? What are the HOA fees and what do they include? Do you feel safe walking from where you would park to your home? Does it look like water has a place to go other than into the home?
For condos - How is the unit situated in the building? Main floor, top floor, in between? Is it a walk-up or does it have an elevator? How far is the unit from the elevator, trash, stairwell? What borders the property? Other similar homes? Rentals? Commercial Property? A school of house of worship? A playground? Is there outdoor space - balcony, roof-top access, garden or sport areas? How is parking? Does the development offer amenities that are important to you? What are tthe condo fees and what do they include? Do the amenities offered allow you to stop paying fees elsewhere, for example gym fees.
Does this lot work for you? If no, this is not the one. Stop considering this home.
Third - House
Seriously, if you answered "No" to either of the above factors, this is not your house. Stop considering it. It will just be a distraction - a kind of "white noise" in your search because it will not be the one.
However, if you like the location and the lot, the two things you can't really change, great! You can now consider the house or condo unit. When you visit the home you should ask yourself:
Is the exterior well maintained? How about the driveway? the roof? Do you walk in and get a good feeling? Does the layout work for you and your family? Are the kitchen and bathrooms well maintained/updated? How about the systems in the home? How old are they, or rather how many years left until the end of their useful life? Is it bright and cheerful? Do you see yourself using this home the way they are showing it or in a different way? Will it work for you and your family now and into the future? Do you really want to live in this home?
Finally, I want to refer to a great article a friend of mine posted on faceboook. It is really about dating, but I think it applies to searching for a home as well. Titled "F*ck Yes, or No", it is really about the main question you need to ask yourself about this home - Do you love it? Why would you purchase and move into a home you don't love? If you are not thinking, Yes! I love this place, maybe it's not the one.
While I am often tempted by beautiful homes, when I go through the process, most are eliminated in step one or two. Most are eliminated when I ask myself if I love it.
If you are trying to find the home of your dreams, give me a call to Get Started.