Sure, I may appear to be on the “other side” of this property game, but any regular readers of this blog will know all too well that I’m more of an insider representing the consumers who are on the other side. Consequently, any advice I give is to the mutual benefit of the industry itself and its consumers and we all know that for a bit too long now things have been skewed more in favor of those who in a sense control the industry.
So the topic of discussion today is that of the process you’d go through when viewing properties with a view of buying, particularly a property which you’d like to make your home – your primary residence. It is indeed all about what YOU want out of a property so I’m going to share with you some pointers to help you steer clear of unnecessary costs that could hit you on account of the realtor showing you the properties just really trying to close the sale.
Assess your current living arrangements
This is a very important prerequisite to go through before you even get in touch with a real estate agent to make arrangements to go and view some properties for sale. Assess your current living arrangements, paying special attention to the level of comfort you’re enjoying and how you got to that point. What are some the areas in which you had to compromise and in light of those compromises, does your home still feel like a home? It most certainly does, or it most certainly has, hasn’t it?
Make a list of your requirements
We’ll get back to exactly why the previous step is important in a bit. For now though, the next port of call is drawing up an extensive list of your requirements in the new property you want to make your home. The list really has to be extensive, but in listing all your requirements you’ll have to go into great detail about just how important each of those requirements are. They should be classified according to:
- Deal breakers (if any one of these requirements aren’t met, you can never make this house your home)
- Important (the majority of these requirements should ideally be met, but you can make interchangeable plans with the budget should they not be met)
- Nice-to-have (these requirements are self-explanatory in that they’re not critically important, but they would be really nice to have nevertheless)
Conduct your own assessment
Think of the realtor as someone with whom you compare notes and not as someone who has all the answers to your property needs. Naturally, the deal-breaker requirements need to be met, but you have to exercise some discretion and be reasonable. Going back to the assessment of your current living conditions, some of the requirements you might be called upon to perhaps let go of on account of something like the price point will be that much easier to compromise on if you look at how you made things work with your current living arrangements.
For example, if you needed extra space for a growing family, the extra money you might have spent for a property which has an ocean view could very well be redirected to one which is further from the ocean perhaps, costs the same as the ocean-view home, but has all the extra space you need because it’s bigger.