Finding the right home isn’t easy and this can be especially true in an active – or as we in the real estate biz like to call them ‘hot’- market. It’s very frustrating if you can’t find the exact home you want in the neighbourhood you have your heart set on, or if you seem to be missing out on homes that may have been about right because they are getting snapped up, it seems, almost as soon as the ‘For Sale’ sign goes up.
In these cases you may, however, simply need to adjust your ‘game plan’ a little. A bit of troubleshooting of your current home shopping criteria may in fact make all of the difference. Here are just some areas to troubleshoot to help kick-start your home search.
Shift Your Neighbourhood Focus (a Little)
Just not seeing what you want in your first choice area? That little section you have had in mind for so long? If so, you have two basic choices; wait things out until the market cools and the housing stock increases – which may be quite a while – or be open to shifting your geographical focus a little.
The fact is that if you’ve been looking in a certain specific neighbourhood for a while without success, it’s less than likely that the perfect home will suddenly appear in your price range out of thin air — and if it does, you’ll probably face stiff competition.
If you don’t want to wait things out the smart move is to begin explore a different neighborhood. You may very well find that $400,000 in one area just a few miles – or less – away from your target area will get you a bigger house or a more recently renovated one. Do the research on nearby areas, talk to your Realtor and see if they will suit your needs.
Be Open to Doing a Little Cosmetic Work
A great many home buyers are looking primarily for move-in-ready, already renovated homes. They really don’t want to undertake renovations or other updates, even if they would be relatively minor. Who has time for that in their very busy lives? As a result, the well-located home that looks like a bit like a 1970s throwback almost certainly won’t get the same attention as the updated one down the block.
But go tour the home that needs a little TLC. Sometimes a few fresh coats of paint, some refinishing of hardwood floors, the addition of new appliances, and other rather simple tweaks can make a world of difference. Go take a look with an open, creative mind and you may well be very pleasantly surprised.
Get Together for a Real Conversation
One of the hardest things for couples and/or families to when property shopping to do is compromise on their wants and needs when it comes to basic home requirements. Often, half of the couple just won’t back down on a maybe not completely essential feature like an extra half bath, additional bedroom or full finished basement. And that stalls the search considerably.
Instead of allowing that to happen sit down for a serious conversation about possible compromises. Think long and hard about your short-term and long-term needs. Can you come together as a family to find a meaningful compromise that will suit everyone? Often, the answer is yes, it just may take a few sessions to get there.