The Perfect Home Might Be The One You Find After Buying

Mortgage rates and home prices are both higher than they were last year, which has an impact on what you can afford. At the same time, there are still fewer homes for sale than usual. These are two of the biggest hurdles buyers are facing today. However, there are ways to overcome these obstacles and still realize your dream of homeownership.

You will want to be strategic when making purchases this season. This includes taking a close look at your wish list and determining which features you truly require in your next home versus those that are nice-to-have. This will help you avoid exceeding your budget or narrowing your pool of options too much in your search for the perfect home. 

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, explains:

“The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, . . . Another key point is to avoid stretching your budget, as tempting as it may be . . .”

Make a list of all the features you will want to see to help you determine what you truly require. From there, work to break those features into categories. Here’s a great way to organize your list:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
  • Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: a pool, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

If you only want to look at homes that have all of your desired features, you may be limiting your options and making it more difficult on yourself (and your budget) than necessary.

While you would love to have granite countertops or a pool in your backyard, both of these features are potentially addable after you move. Instead, it may be best to concentrate on finding the things you can not change (such as location or the number of rooms). Then, you can upgrade or add some of the other features or finishes you want later on.

Sometimes the perfect home is the one you perfect after buying it.

Discuss your top priorities with your real estate agent once you have categorized your list in a way that works for you. They will be able to help you refine your list even further, coach you on how to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your top needs.

Bottom Line

With current affordability issues and a limited housing supply, you will want to be strategic in order to find a home that meets your needs while remaining within your budget. Let’s connect to make that possible.

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