Putting a Price on Lifestyle
Shopping for a house is as much a lifestyle decision as it is a financial one. After all, unless you're a professional real estate investor, you're not just buying a house-you're buying a home. Sure, there are important financial matters to consider, such as mortgage rates, payments and resale values. But when deciding whether or not to make an offer, you also need to think about how that home will impact the quality of your life. So, it's important not to let an attractive list price distract you from considering a home that has features that may be worth paying a little more for. You should determine the lifestyle features that are important to you and your family and factor them into the purchase price of any home.
For example, have you considered the value of:
- A large kitchen and a comfortable recreational room with a wet bar? Perfect if you entertain a lot.
- A quiet room or cozy alcove? Ideal if you like to read, sew, build model airplanes, or surf the net.
- A backyard with the right combination of sun and shade? Priceless if you love to garden.
- A relatively flat, rather than inclined, driveway? Great for a game of one-on-one basketball with the kids.
- A spacious deck or patio area? Hours of enjoyment for the BBQ fanatic in the family.
- Parks, recreation centers, and schools within walking distance? A real time-saver if you have children.
- Local green space and trails? Ideal if you have a dog to walk or are a jogger.
Taking these "lifestyle factors" into account will put the asking price into perspective, and help you determine how much the home is really worth to you. If you would like a list of homes on the market that meet your financial and lifestyle requirements, call today.
Beware! of the Perfect House Syndrome
"If we're patient and look long enough, we'll find the perfect house." That's what some people say when new house shopping. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to find a place that meets most of your needs and wants. But waiting for perfection may be a mistake. By comparing houses on the market with only the "dream" in your head, you risk missing out on properties that meet most of your requirements. These may be terrific homes that ultimately go to another buyer. Instead, judge each house by its own merits. Compile a list of items and features that are important to you and place them in order of importance. Then evaluate houses against these criteria. Ask yourself: Does it meet my most important criteria? How do I really feel about not getting certain items on my list. Then, be careful not to let every item become the roadblock that prevents you from buying what is truly a dream home.