Looking at Homes Outside Your Search Criteria
In a seller’s market, which is what many areas in New England are experiencing right now, finding a home you want to buy and getting your offer accepted can be challenging. A seller’s market means that the inventory of homes for sale does not meet the current demand of buyers.
This competition from other buyers makes it harder to find exactly what you are looking for. So, if you are still searching, it may be wise to start thinking outside the box and consider what items on your checklist for the “the perfect home” are negotiable. This does not mean buying a home you don’t love. It simply means considering the ways you might be able to compromise and still end up a happy new homeowner.
Here are some examples:
- Look to the outskirts of your ideal location, or even outside the community you are focusing on.
For example, maybe you want a house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but you keep getting outbid on anything that comes on the market. How about expanding your search to include other towns around Portsmouth, like Dover or Greenland? What if you found another Seacoast community that kind of has the same vibe as Portsmouth, like Exeter or Durham?
- Consider homes in need of updates.
Ideally, you may want move-in ready. Maybe you are not handy around the house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy a house and hire a contractor (even if you must wait due to costs) to update the kitchen or bathrooms. In some ways, buying a home that you modernize yourself is better because you get to choose the style and finishes you really want.
- Look at new construction.
If you can’t find what you want, you could consider building it. You may pay slightly more than you would for an older, existing home, and you must be patient as you wait for your home to be constructed. However, the benefit is that everything is new, so you won’t have surprise repair costs right after you first move in. You will also have the newest in energy-efficient appliances and heating systems. You also get to pick out the finishes and design features that you want. The result is a home that matches both your style and your budget from the day you move in. Building is a great solution to finding what you want.
- Be willing to compromise on some of your desired features.
If you’re a family with children that really needs 3 bedrooms, a large kitchen, and 2 bathrooms, leave these items on your must-have list. But maybe there are other things on your list that could go, and you would still be happy with your home purchase. For example, perhaps you want the home to be located on a dead-end street or cul-de sac. Maybe you could consider homes that are on side streets, which may in fact connect to other streets, but still lack heavy traffic except for people who live there.
Having very specific things that you are looking for in a home makes sense, but rigidly sticking to your criteria may mean that you eliminate several homes that you might actually love once you see them. Ask your agent for his or her advice. With a little outside the box thinking, you may find the right home to fit your needs, and it may even be the perfect compromise.
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