1. Are my expectations realistic?
Everyone has a dream home. Mine is a Craftsman with Victorian high ceilings, art-deco details, and a Mid-Century Modern feel. But here’s the thing. That Frankenstein of architecture doesn’t exist—and your dream home probably doesn’t either.
There is always something not so lovable in each house. The key to finding the right home is setting realistic expectations.
2. How many properties have I viewed?
Once you're house hunting, it can be nearly impossible to decide when you’ve looked at enough houses. After all, new homes are listed every day.
View online listings as much as you want. There's no harm in real estate stalking in your spare time, but you should set a limit for actual viewings.
If you go view more than ten homes [without finding anything], there’s a good chance you’re confused as to what you’re actually looking for and that you’re trying to piece together a home that doesn’t exist.
3. What am I willing to compromise?
I have found that in one of these 3 categories everyone must compromise.
- Price - Are you willing to spend more to check more boxes?
- Area - Are you willing to go outside your "target" neighborhood?
- Work Needed - Are you willing to put money and sweat equity into the home to make it more of what you want?
Make a decision on which of these areas you're willing to compromise and it will make your home search much more fun!
Of course here is where I contradict myself.
There is an exception to this rule.
Sometimes it's OK to keep looking. When you’re deciding on a home, you should always consider the current market, even if it means you’ll be shopping for a little while longer.
If you're having trouble finding a home and you have proper expectations, don’t settle—especially if you’re in a hot market like we are right now.
In this sellers’ market, homes can go quickly and you might just be missing the window of opportunity.
It might make sense to wait a little longer than rush to try to beat out an overzealous buyer.