Looking for a new home can start out to be a fun process but can quickly turn very frustrating in a market where new listings are few and far between. Here are some tips if you are looking to buy a home but just can’t seem to find the right one.
Revisit why you are moving.
- Usually, a change in job, marital status, family status and/or financial position are the main reasons why people move.
- From here, buyers develop their list of wants and needs for their next home. This list may have some things you can compromise on.
- Then there is timing. When do you HAVE to move? Are you in a lease? Are you waiting for the kids to finish school for the year? Are you waiting to get financially qualified?
The answers to these three main questions will affect how you shop for a home.
If you have been looking for a home for a while and haven’t found the right one, here are some ideas to consider:
Look at a different price point.
This doesn’t necessarily always mean a higher price point. Look at homes below your target budget. Would a smaller home fit your needs? Would a home needing repairs work you for? What location/neighborhood can you get more for your money?
If needing to be at a higher price point, talk with your lender about different lending options that could open up a larger selection of homes. Could you switch from an FHA loan to a conventional loan? Are there down payment programs you could qualify for?
Expand your location.
Location is everything in real estate. But if specific circumstances are creating the location to be an absolute need, really examine to see if this need can be compromised. For example, if you are looking to be in a certain school district, check to see if the kids can still enroll if you live outside of the district. For commuting, look for areas that you could drive to work from easily or check out mass transit and see if that changes the location. Is telecommuting an option?
Reevaluate wants and needs.
If I had a dollar for every buyer that told me they wanted a home with privacy…..
Privacy is probably the biggest want/need I hear from buyers daily. But privacy doesn’t necessarily mean five acres in the boonies. Privacy can also be found on a 4,000 square foot lot near downtown Olympia, WA. Thoughtful design elements like landscaping, floor plan (for example, having the master bedroom on the quiet side of the house), even where the garage is located can all create privacy.
Define what privacy means for you (not seeing or hearing any neighbors, peace and quiet, little traffic, etc.) and look for those options.
The second most requested desire I hear from buyers is they need guest bedroom space. This is another area you might want to reconsider. Are you really going to spend the money, time and effort to find a home that can accommodate the occasional overnight guest? This also goes for finding a home that has a big enough dining room for Thanksgiving dinner.
I understand that these are important but I’m asking my buyers to really think if this is truly a non-negotiable. It might be and that’s fine. But maybe you can find the right house that has three bedrooms instead of four.
Stand back and look at the bigger picture.
Do you view a home as an investment? Take the longer view. This goes back to location and condition. Are there up and coming areas that you can get into now versus the current neighborhoods that are already established as desirable? Are there sweat-equity opportunities?
No time to find a house.
If time is of the essence, you may have to be very flexible and compromise quite a bit. To help take the sting off of that idea, go back and look at the bigger picture. Look at homes and locations to see their potential in the short-term in case you decide to sell and upgrade or rent it out. Look for areas around town that appeal to commuters, renters/students, close to employment centers, etc. so that if your home purchase now becomes a short-term investment, you can resell or rent out the property easily.
This is another option for the longer-term buyer. Not only can this process take many months to complete, it can be very expensive so this isn’t for a buyer who won’t be living in the home for very long.
The risk might be great but so is the reward. Working with the right builder can pay off for you to have your dream home.
These are just a few ideas to help you when house-hunting. Don't get discouraged, work with the right Realtor that can help walk you through these decisions, and get into your new home.
Call me today! I represent buyers looking for homes in Thurston County, WA including Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and surrounding areas.