Jun 2004

Getting what you really want when you buy a home

You are tired of paying rent and want a home of your own. You need more space. You have a new job or your work has been relocated. You just got married or divorced or are planning a family. Or you are just not happy with the home or the area you live in now. Whatever your motivations for wanting to buy a home, it is one of the most significant decisions you will make in your life and will impact both your financial well being and the quality of your life for years to come.

Each of these reasons requires a different approach to finding a home; different criteria are used. Yet they are all involved in your final decision, even if you might only have an intuitive awareness of them. The final result of these decisions will inevitably be a compromise of quality, size, cost and location - the four dimensions of a home search.

Buying a home is a complex decision that involves gathering information in various areas. You will need to decide on whether a particular neighborhood meets your needs. You will need to evaluate the design of the home. Does it meet your need for physical space? Does it have that overall feeling of home and will it provide the comfort home implies to you? You will need to evaluate the condition of the house and interpret the results of that inspection. You will need to make financial decisions in regard to how much you can afford to pay and how the purchase of a particular home rates as an potential investment.

The typical approach to finding a home is to make a home a commodity that is bought or sold. You go shopping for a home. Some salespersons who do not know you or care about your unique dwelling requirements attempt to persuade you to buy this particular home.

Think for yourself. Do not give in to high pressure sales pitches. Finding a new home can be a stressful time. But it can also be a time of reflection, of redefining who you are and what your goals are.

There are number of things you can do to prepare yourself for your search and the decisions that will be required. Here are a few general ideas of things you can do.

Know what you want in a home. You are an individual. No one is exactly like you. Your home should reflect that uniqueness. Make a wish list of everything you can dream of that your ideal home would be. Then go over the list. Which items would improve the quality of your life the most? Then make a list of what you need in a home. Prioritize these needs.
Know the neighborhood where you where you would like to find a house. Study its history, project what it going to be like in 5 years or 10 years, what kind of houses are in area, what are the schools like? What is the price range of the houses in the area? Is this the kind of neighborhood where you would feel most comfortable and most at home.
Know what your resources are - How much do you have for a down paymen? What kind of mortgage payment can you make? What is your future earning power? How much time do you have to invest in working on projects to improve or maintain a home? How much effort do you what to spend in finding your ideal home?

To help, you can find a buyer's agent with whom you feel comfortable. A good buyer's agent will be a great source of information concerning neighborhoods, the value of the house, and process of buying a home. They also will be someone with whom you can sit and discuss all the aspects of buying a home, someone who will listen attentively to your expressed needs and who has the experience to evaluate the information. A good buyer's agent, without pressuring, will evaluate with you each house and help you decide if the compromises you will have to make (assuming its not the perfect house) are the best for you.

Helping you gather and evaluate that information is a main focus of Lifespace Design. For more detailed information on our real estate service, call , web