I work with a lot of buyers. I share their excitement in the anticipation of “buying.” Often they can be so very excited it’s just like a kid in a candy store with the prospect of getting ultimate freedom to find a home where ever they like. They really will look all over and sometimes I hear comments such as, “This is not what I thought we would end up buying when we started!” Or, “I have been looking for a long time and I don’t know if a home is out there for me!”
One of the key steps to the buying process is creating a clear vision and focus for your search. Often times where you start out in this process is not where you end up, and that is okay.
There can be several reasons why buyers cannot find “just the right space.” So here are some tips to help streamline the buying process and create a better understanding for your search.
1) Work through the process of elimination not selection. This sounds odd for a “house search” but it really helps if you can narrow your search criteria down to a laser-sharp focus. This way when you find “a good deal” or “the right property” comes along, you will know it. Start with perhaps two or three areas of interest and narrow it down to one area.
2) Write a list of things you “need” (…yard) and evaluate things that you “want” (…garage vs. carport). Sometimes the wants turn into needs and the needs turn into wants, so review these items regularly for clarity.
3) Write a list of things and areas you don’t want! This too will help you and your agent eliminate inappropriate choices.
4) Just because you currently live in a certain neighbourhood does not mean you have to stay in this particular area. There may be other areas that are of interest so get out and explore. This will help to eliminate the question: “Is there something I am missing or a better option?”
5) If you are planning on moving to an area that is new to you, then get to know the area at different times of the day and week. Some areas may have very heavy commuter traffic during the week but not on weekends; Or the inconspicuous building on the corner may be a fire hall or a night club that keeps you up all night.
6) Re-evaluate your search every few months if you are not finding what you are looking for. It may be because of market conditions or it may be because your budget is perhaps not in line with your needs and desires.
Working with a good real estate agent with clear communication of what you are looking for is a key part of the buying process. A good agent will often be out previewing property to help promote or eliminate options for you on a regular basis.