Of all the questions to ask when buying a home this is the most powerful. Asking this question will give you the best foundation possible to do everything right. You want to buy the right home on the most agreeable terms, and you want to live in it happily. That sounds obvious. But do you know what the second biggest reason is for a home going on the market?
It is because the current owner bought the wrong home to start with.
Think about that. They spent all that time looking for the ideal home, they got approved for a loan, they wrote the offer, held their breath, got it accepted, had the home inspected, closed on it. Then, after less time than they thought, they decided it wasn’t right. If only they had asked the right questions sooner.
I encourage my buyers to ask all the right questions, so they can do everything knowledgeably and confidently. And so they do not suffer buyer’s remorse. There are different ways to avoid buyer’s remorse, so in this short series of articles we will look at each of them.
My buyers trust me to help them. Here is how I start.
Buying a home properly (a primary or vacation residence, or an investment property) takes forward planning. Inexperienced buyers sometimes don’t plan as well as they should. So the first questions to ask yourself are:
- What is our preferred location? How important is school district, commute time, convenience to local shopping, entertainment, hiking and biking trails? What about noise levels during the day and at night? How important is it for us to have neighbors like us (young families, empty nesters, Millenials, etc.)
- What kind of property should we buy? Single family home, townhome, or condo?
- What age of property will work for us? Some properties will need more maintenance and repair work than others.
- What size will be right for us now, and a few years into the future? Growing family? Parents moving in? home-based business?
- What floorplan will be right? Layout, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, home office space, games room, walkout basement, etc?
- What really is our price range? Your deposit, mortgage costs, taxes and insurance, maintenance costs, homeowner or condo association fees, commuting costs, etc, should all go into your calculations.
Follow Your Plan
Make lists that make your planning clear. If you are buying with someone else, agree your lists with each other. Check your lists, and ask yourselves these questions:
- What are our ‘must haves’
- What are our ‘must not haves.’
- What are our ‘like to haves’ and
- What are our ‘would prefer not to haves.’
If, say, you must be away from a noisy main road, or if you must have a certain number of bedrooms, then these are ‘must haves,’ not ‘like to haves’ or ‘think about it later issues.’ If being in this school district or out of a flood zone are on the essential list, then keep them essential.
Why Do This?
Because good planning is the secret to long-term happiness when it comes to home-buying. If you buy a new jacket, and you don’t like it, you take it back. If you buy a new home, and you don’t like it, you live a less happy life, and you spend a lot of money selling it and buying another one.
My Goal as Your Realtor
My goal is not to sell you a home; my goal is to help you make good decisions. My buyers do not suffer for buyer remorse, because I help them to ask all the right questions. My goal is for you to be so happy with your purchase, you want to work with me for years to come. In Part II of this series we will explore more questions you should ask to make sure you choose the right home.