Finding the perfect place is difficult, whether it is a rental or you are looking to purchase a place. When we were looking for our house we struggled with balancing what we wanted with what the market was offering. J is a carpenter, and because he has seen many a house being built, many that aren’t up to code, he was especially choosy about which type of house and kind of finishing he wanted. For me, I was focusing on the functionality and sadly when you are trying to balance functionality with good, solid bones it makes it considerably more difficult to find the perfect place.
We did end up finding the perfect house for us, though. Here are a few tips:
Look Past Surface Things
Don’t be like those annoying couples on House Hunters and complain about the paint color! Surface things, such as paint, wallpaper, hardware, flooring and quite a few other things are temporary. You can change them and modify them to your liking. Having a little bit of vision and looking past superficial color choices and the like may help you snag the best house for your buck. Plus, regardless of the paint color you will likely want to paint it yourself anyway. Nobody want somebody else’s décor and design ideas in their house.
Especially if you are buying, I know this is difficult. You spent time saving up for your down payment an closing costs, likely and hopefully did a lot of research, considered what you wanted and what you could live without, and now you are ready to take the plunge and start looking!
At any given time there are very few houses on the market if you consider the entire real estate landscape. Recognize that it’s a fluid market and properties are often bought, sold, and re-listed. You are unlikely to find a house that you love within your first viewings, so teach yourself to be patient and wait.
There may be nothing that interests you now, but the perfect home might pop up in just a couple of weeks! This is what happened with us. We looked for about six weeks before our home was listed. I knew as soon as I saw the photos on the listing that I wanted to see it!
Another friendly reminder to not be like those annoying couples on House Hunters who have a tiny budget but incredibly high expectations. You aren’t getting a mansion for $250,000 in Vancouver (or a condo.. or a townhome). If you have a beer budget, don’t ask for champagne! You have to set realistic expectations by doing a lot of preliminary research. Real estate agents and companies like Martyn Gerrard can only work with what is on the market, they aren’t miracle workers. If you have a limited budget but want hardwood floors, granite countertops, and an acre, you will likely have to either move somewhere cheaper or compromise on some of your wish list. Remember that after you buy, for things like the floors and counters, you can easily change it up after you have saved up a bit more money.