Having been out with home buyers countless times over the last decade or more, I have developed a few rules for home shopping. Today I want to talk to you about my five rules for buying a house. These are just things that come up with buyers more often than not, and the first rule, and it’s the most important one.
There is always another house.
Rule number one, the first rule, the cardinal rule. There’s always another house, and I can’t stress that enough. There’s always another house. Meaning if you fall in love with a house, you’re going to end up paying a lot of money for it or you’re going to get emotional about it. This is going to make the process a lot more difficult for you. Difficult and expensive are not two things I would really take a lot of pride in being a part of. So just remember, if it doesn’t work out with the house you’re making an offer on, there’s another one. There’s always another one.
Emotions are expensive.
That dovetails into rule number two, emotions are expensive. Leave your emotions out of the housing process. Remember, it’s a business transaction. Don’t get emotional about a house because it will get expensive and expensive pretty quickly. All too often I have seen one side of transaction sense an emotional attachment to a property, and then the price goes up. Way up.
Win by losing.
That also now leads me to my third rule, sometimes you win by losing. And I know that doesn’t make any sense, but sometimes it’s better to let someone else pay through the nose for that house or chase a house or buy that fixer-upper that’s a lot worse than it looks. So sometimes you can win by losing. Or said differently, sometimes when you let someone else with the house, you may have lost the battle, but not the war.
You’ll know it when you see it.
Then this has really nothing to do with the last couple of rules. When you’re out and you’re looking at houses and you get a little defeated that what you want is not in your budget. So you keep looking and looking becoming all the more frustrated with the market. I can tell and I’ve seen this every time with a buyer, I can tell in 30 seconds the house you’re going to buy. So I always tell people, “You’ll know the house when you see it.” So that’s an important rule. You’ll know it when you see it. You’re going to walk into a house and three steps in the door you’re like, “Yeah. This is the one.” I’ve seen it, it happens all the time, it will happen again in 2022 countless times. So keep the patience.
Some things you cannot fix.
Then the last thing is, and this is very important when you’re dealing with homes. Some things you can’t fix. You can fix an ugly kitchen by putting a new one in, you can fix ugly bathrooms by putting new ones in. A good coat of paint goes a long way in a house. People that don’t stage and repaint their house before they put it on the market are putting themselves at a disadvantage. As a seller, you’re fine to do that. But, I think your return on investment is better if you do get the house painted and prepped for the market. But some things you can’t fix. You can’t move the train tracks away from behind the house. You can’t reroute the traffic on a busy street. There are just things you can’t fix, and so I always say just because it’s cheap don’t get too into it because one of the reasons it’s cheap is there’s something you can’t fix.
So anyway, you’ve got my five rules to live by when you’re searching for a home. I hope these are helpful. I find myself saying them a lot, so they come from a lot of experience.
Other blog posts of interest:
Price is the issue in the absence of value.
Getting Divorced | Understanding Home Valuation Methods