Saturday, October 27, 2012

BUYING A HOME: Homebuying wish list lets buyers see the big picture


Experienced agent can help you see beyond staging tricks.


I'll know it when I see it." "This doesn't feel like home to me." "Someday the right one will come along; I'll keep looking until it does." "It's going to be my home; it has to feel special."
These comments are typical of buyers who've looked for a while but haven't committed to buying. The objections sound sensible. Yet, they could be excuses not to buy.
Homebuying is not for everyone. It's a major commitment and is often the most expensive purchase most people will make in their lifetime. It's understandable that some buyers approach the home search with reservations.
You'll save a lot of time and energy if you can determine if homebuying is for you before you start looking. Then for the best result, approach the house hunt methodically and with the understanding that it will take time.
You may find that some of the items you'd like to have in your home don't exist in your target area. For example, let's say you want to live in a neighborhood of charming older homes that are close to shops and transportation. You also want a two-car attached garage. Smaller homes built in the 1920s or earlier usually don't have two-car garages.
This is where compromise comes into play. If the older, conveniently located neighborhood is high on your wish list, you will need to be willing to settle for a one-car garage, or perhaps no garage. If the two-car garage is a must, you may need to consider homes that were built more recently, and are not as conveniently located.
As you're looking at homes for sale, try to see beyond the seller's d├ęcor and
the staging. A well-staged home can mask floor plan defects. It can be misleading in terms of what you need in a home. For instance, a first-time buyer made the mistake of buying a home that was staged so well that she didn't realize that there was no formal dining room and no eating area in the kitchen.
On the other hand, you may be tempted to turn down a home that's staged to appeal to the widest audience but appears not to suit your needs. Let's say a home has three bedrooms but no home office. If you need only two bedrooms, you could use the third bedroom as an office, even though it's not represented that way.
The best way to see a home you're really interested in is with your agent. Many buyers aren't good at visualizing a home any other way than how it's shown. An experienced agent should be able to show you how you can adapt a home to your needs.
It's often hard to make a good assessment of a home you're serious about at a Sunday open house. Have your agent take you back for a second or third look.
THE CLOSING: Bring your wish list and discuss the pros and cons before you make a final decision.

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