Friday, May 18, 2018

TRADE OFFS: What is most important when buying your Dream Home? 
By John Henry Architect,

What are the most important features of an existing property for sale to you, the potential buyer?
If you have a young family or are single/living alone the answers would be different from a mature family, empty nesters, or retirees.

What is more important to you -- nearby amenities or special aspects about a house or property?  Cost for most buyers is a central issue.  The selling price of any house is based on location (quality of neighborhood, proximity to key amenities), age (implications for maintenance), and house/property features (size and style, quality of interior finishes, specific layout of plan, views, landscaping).

It is very difficult to satisfy everything on your wish list! You may like the location but not the house.  Or the house is great but too far out or too close to undesirable properties!
So what trade offs are you willing to make?

First, what is most dear to you: Time/convenience, Safety, or Comfort and Aesthetics?  Good schools in your area?  Ideally all three is what we want but not always possible.  Let’s look at time for a minute.  If you live in a suburb outside of town and commute in every day, a suburban location may not change the time to work but suppose you are selling a house in a potentially more valuable location close to multiple amenities: banks, schools, theaters, restaurants.  If you are used to driving or taking public transportation to your favorite Starbucks or restaurant in 10 minutes and now it may take 20 or 30 how are you going to feel about that?

Some of us with children are willing to make huge concessions to have them placed in highly regarded and safe schools, even willing to drive a long time each way to them to school and pick them up.  A young family is used to minimal comfort and convenience as living costs are high and just a break from apartment living or small rentals is sufficient.

Similarly an indigent person or one with medical conditions feels safer closer to a hospital or other medical facilities and can deal with any negatives about the house they are considering.

Those with the most options are recent empty nesters.  Schooling is done and perhaps they wish to downsize or move to a more advantageous part of town.  Or if work and social ties require upscale housing then a gated community or older established part of town may work best.  Perhaps building a house is also a consideration.  Merchant built subdivisions in suburban areas are one consideration or possibly remodeling an existing house closer in.  Perhaps some open tracts are available in a rural setting that fulfill most of the Owner’s interests.

Buying an existing house means you will be balancing positives and negatives per your current and possibly long term lifestyle if planning to live in the house indefinitely.  If you have to move quickly for financial or other reasons only a built house will work.  If you have time (and the temperament) and cannot find the perfect house you may elect to remodel or build anew.  You may wish to demolish your existing house and build much larger if your location is ideal and your house will not accommodate your anticipated use by just remodeling.

With so many options, check with a Realtor and consult with an Architect to see what is your best route moving forward!  You may want to create a chart and weigh each need/wish with a point system and go through several scenarios.  Home buying and building can tend towards emotional decision making.  Try to think it out clearly and then follow your heart.

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