Many clients ask me how long the “typical” buyer takes to find a home. My answer to this question is it all depends! Time frame is a huge factor….if you need something quickly, many buyers are much more able to make a quick decision and also to compromise on things that they would like to have in a home. If you have tons of time…I find that the home buying process expands to meet the amount of time you have. In other words…if you would like to find a home within a year…it is likely that they will take close to that much time to find a home.
Some people always feel like something better will come along and they have trouble “pulling the trigger” because what if the “perfect” house comes on right after you buy a house. My answer to that is that there is no such thing as the “perfect” house…unless you build it yourself (and then you will still find something wrong with it at some point). There will always be something you would change about the house or that you wish was different. Even if a “better” home comes on the market after, it doesn’t mean that the home you chose was a bad decision nor does it mean that a better one than the better one will not come along…if you play that game, you will never find a house. For example, in my own home…I would love to change our kitchen, it is slightly outdated. I also painted all of the walls when we moved it because I hated the colors. These are things that can be changed though and one day I will get a new kitchen :). What I loved about the house is that it is spacious, full of light, in a fabulous community and has a two car garage…these are among the reasons why we chose it and among the top of our criteria list.
Just remember, looking and getting frustrated is part of the process. You may even have to lose the first house you decide you like to another buyer who bids higher…that happens sometimes…but if it does happen, rest assured, you will find a home you love again. Just remember…it will never be perfect, but if it has the most important criteria then don’t write it off because it doesn’t have a hall closet or something minute like that.
Another thing you may find is that the price range you thought would get you what you are looking for actually will not and you may either need to adjust your expectations or adjust your price range. Sometimes only a little extra money will broaden your pool of homes quite a bit. And typically every additional $10000 adds another $70 or so dollars to your monthly payment, so it isn’t that big of a stretch.
Flexibility is key, but that doesn’t mean you need to “settle”, it just means that you need to adjust to what is available and find something with as many of the features you are looking for as possible…also prioritize those features so that you know what you absolutely need and what you would like but can live without. Sometimes you will not be able to do this until you have seen a few though, so it is ok to look at what is available and then re-group and adjust based on what you see.
Don’t lose heart buyers, the right house is out there…it may take you 1 week, or it may take you 1 year…be patient and flexible and it will come.
- Buyers – How to Value a House (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Domesticities| At Home on Facebook (tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Creative ways home buyers are sharing experiences [Feature] (agentgenius.com)