Perfecting Your Home: Unveiling Potential After Purchase

The Perfect Home Could Be the One You Perfect After Buying

There's no denying that current mortgage rates and home prices surpass those of the previous year, impacting affordability. Simultaneously, the housing market experiences a shortage of available homes, presenting significant challenges for buyers. Despite these hurdles, there are effective strategies to overcome them and turn your homeownership dream into a reality.

Approaching a purchase this season requires strategic planning. It involves a careful examination of your wish list, distinguishing between essential features for your next home and those that are merely desirable. This approach prevents overextending your budget or narrowing down your options excessively in pursuit of the perfect home.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, explains:

“The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, . . . Another key point is to avoid stretching your budget, as tempting as it may be . . .”

To help identify what you truly need, make a list of all the features you’ll want to see. From there, work to break those features into categories. Here’s a great way to organize your list:

  • Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
  • Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
  • Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: a pool, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).

If you limit your home tours to properties that possess all your dream features, you might be unnecessarily narrowing down your options and creating additional challenges for yourself, including those related to your budget.

Although the allure of granite countertops or a backyard pool is undeniable, consider that these features can often be added post-purchase. It might be more prudent to prioritize aspects that are unchangeable, such as location or a specific number of rooms. Subsequently, you can plan for upgrades or the addition of desired features at a later time.

Sometimes the perfect home is the one you perfect after buying it.

After organizing your list according to your preferences, engage in a conversation with your real estate agent about your top priorities. They possess the expertise to assist you in fine-tuning the list, providing guidance on adhering to it effectively, and locating a home in your area that aligns with your most critical needs.

Bottom Line

Amidst the existing affordability challenges and constrained housing supply, it's crucial to approach the home search strategically. Ensure you find a home that caters to your needs without stretching your budget. Collaborate with a real estate agent to navigate these challenges and make your homeownership goals a reality.

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