The home search process can be a trying one. There can be twist, turns, ups and downs. There can be multi offer bid lost and homes sold before there is an opportunity to see them. Before buyers get too discouraged with the process, they should consider a making a few changes to their search.
The first change comes from a heart to heart talk with a spouse, significant other, or even with oneself. Buyer need to ask tough questions and give honest answers.
While it is nice to have two and a half baths, could two baths suffice? Can the buyer live without a garage? These are all questions and compromises that should be addressed before going any further with a search. Theses answers will help broaden or narrow the search for that one right home. Buyers need to have honest answers to the must have and deal breaker questions in order to jump start their search.
Next, it is time to consider homes that need some cosmetic work. Today's marketplace is putting a premium on move in ready homes. This means that homes that are showing a little wear and are a bit dated are not getting the same level of attention as the move in ready homes do. A willingness to overlook unsightly colors and bad carpets may allow a buyer the opportunity to find the house of their dreams at an affordable price. After some new paint and carpets, that is. A buyer should be open to taking the equity that the seller left on the table.
Next, consider another neighborhood or town. If a buyer can't find their dream home in the Windham Hill area, they should consider the River Road corridor. If the home can't be found in Windham, a buyer should consider Raymond. Often times the home of a buyer’s dreams is just a neighborhood or town away. Broadening the search is a great way to find the right home. Another up side maybe a lower price on the same home in a bordering town. Similar homes sell for significantly different prices in Gorham and Buxton. A bordering town may offer a buyer the economic ability to buy the home they want, but couldn't afford in the first choice town.
Next, it is time to dig deep. Buyers may need to tap all resources available for any and all extra money available. By borrowing from friends and relatives, selling some assets, or raising cash in any other way, a buyer may increase the price range they can search in. Sometime a $10,000 bump in affordability is all it takes to make that dream home affordable. With interest rates at historically low rates, buying as much house as possible makes great sense.
Lastly, if all else fails, buyers should consider extending their lease for six months.
It is a good time to take what was learned from the current search (likes, dislikes, deal killers) and reflect. These reflective times should be used to refine the future search. This is also a great time to save additional dollars to be used in the purchase of the future home. Buyers should keep in close contact with their realtor during this time, watching the market, watching mortgage rates, and watching for that dream home to hit the market.
Good luck to buyers in their search and as always use a qualified Realtor to find that dream home.
Rick Yost is a realtor, real estate author and long time Windham resident. Rick can be reached within all of your real estate questions at email@example.com.