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Buyers: Reset Your “Must-Haves”


Written By: PJ Wade — Decisions & Communities
Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Home buyers who had their real estate plans interrupted by the pandemic may benefit from a reset before they plunge into the current real estate market.

Buyers whose real-estate buying efforts stalled in March 2020 may benefit from reviewing their must-have list and how they created it.

Buyers whose pandemic experience triggered a work-from-home must-have list may benefit from adopting a long-term view of how they need home to function for them and their family.

How much have your experiences during the pandemic changed your lists of real estate must-haves, dont-wants, and ready-to-splurge-ons?

Real estate buyers want a new homean invigorating space to spread out in, an affordable celebration of what theyve achieved, a comfortable shelter to share, somewhere to play, a place to belong.

Over the last few months, a lot has changed. The old normal has been replaced in ways that are only now becoming apparent.

Pre-covid, open conceptwhich is commonly created by tearing down interior wallswas a sought-after life>

Opening lines of sight and combining three, four, or more functional roomskitchen, dining room, livingroom, rec room, hobby room, studycreates an enviable airy living environment. Parents can see what children are up to; the family cook is part of the action instead of being shackled to the stove; entertaining is enhanced for guests who can scatter across welcoming spaces without missing out on anything.

After more than nine months of families isolating together in open-concept spaces 24-7, this unstructured environment hasnt provided the perfect life>

What makes looking after pre-school and small children easier may not work as well when your children are a few years older or in high school. For instance, teens value personal space and privacy so you may be sitting in the open space alone.

Working and schooling from home requires privacy and quiet for concentration. High ceilings, hardwood floors, and hard tile surfaces can become noisy nightmares. Balancing hard and soft surfaces with acoustical panels is an often-overlooked solution.

Cost can also be a factor. When you are only using one corner of your high-ceiling, open space, you will still have to heat or cool the entire volume 24-7.

Buyers, stop and think why you want what you want and what youll need over the next two or three yearsthat is, during and after the pandemic:

1. Where did your wants come from?

Do many of your must-haves reflect pre-covid working-away-from-home life>

2. Whats typical?

Talk to your real estate professional about the age, construction quality, common defects, and dated-design features of homes in your preferred area and price range. What will you getfeatures and building qualityfor your money and what might be beyond your price range or not readily available in those neighborhoods?

Know in advance what to expect, so you recognize realistic compromises and a deal you can enjoy living with.

3. How can you stretch buying dollars?

In view of your must-haves, where does value lie and how can you stretch your buying dollars? Will you buy a move-in-ready home, pay for extensive renovations, or tackle do-it-yourself make-overs of specific areas? Covid->

If renovation is part of your plan, dont jump into a home purchase without researching costs, wait-times for professional contractors, and completion times. Understand what youre getting into.

4. What does feels like home mean to you?

Ill know it when I see it and it must feel like home are common buyer strategies that dont always serve buyers well. Change paint color and furnishings and any room takes on a completely different feel. There may be more value in a house that is poorly decorated but that has good bones than a house cleverly staged to camouflage flaws and shortcomings, if not outright problems.

Invest time looking in magazines, at TV series, and online at before and after room make-overs to learn what it is about a room that designers see before they set to work transforming.

Measure your current rooms and larger furniture pieces to establish an understanding of how much space you really need to live comfortably.

5. Do you understand that What You Dont Know About Real Estate Could Cost You?

Its what you dont know about real estate that could cost you when buying or selling. What you dont know about real estate, real estate professionals do. Learn about significant knowledge gaps for buyers and sellers, and how professionals fill those gapswhen askedRead on

As always, a prepared buyer/seller is a confident buyer/seller



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