You've heard it before: "No house is going to be perfect. Even your dream home will have a few compromises."
That's true. When you're house hunting, it's important to keep an open mind rather than getting stuck in one vision of what you're perfect home will look like. However, there are a few instances where it's okay to put your foot down.
We've gone ahead and outlined a few of the biggest real estate deal breakers, the areas where you should never compromise when house hunting. Check out the list below and keep these details in the forefront of your mind as you look at properties.
Location, Location, Location:
"Whether it's for commuting purposes, school systems, or just preferred neighborhood, location tends to be the biggest deal breaker I see. Adding 30 minutes onto your commute can drastically impact your free time and mental happiness. If you want easy access to shops, nightlife, you're going to be miserable living in the middle of nowhere, " advises Chris Taylor with Advantage Real Estate in Boston, MA
You probably knew this one was coming, but it's a cliche for a reason. While you can always work towards upgrading other features of the home over time (I'm looking at you, chef's kitchens and hardwood floors.), how long takes you to get to the grocery store is pretty much set in stone. Before committing to a property make sure that you're happy with your commute to work, the amount of time it takes you to get to stores, and and the access you have to main roads.
Fixer-Upper Vs. Turn-Key:
"Get the condition you want " says Aaron Norris of the Norris Group in Riverside, CA, simply.
We know this may seem a little strange considering we just told you to be open to making upgrades, but the reality is that not all home improvements are created equal. While you'll still probably want to switch up the aesthetics in a turn-key home, it will be more or less livable from the moment you walk in the door. Fixer-upper's, on the other hand, require a sizable amount of work to even get the point where everything functions.
it's important to be honest with yourself about which scenario you can handle. Sure, a fixer-upper may come with a lower price point initially, but if you're not naturally handy, the time and money it takes to get the home up to your standards will quickly become overwhelming. Instead of setting yourself up for frustration, stick to looking at properties that match your skill level. You'll thank yourself later.
"If you can just barely afford to make mortgage payments, you won't have money to do anything outside of work - including taking a vacation - which will make it all seem pointless. Instead, always buy a little less than your maximum qualification amount and enjoy life," says Cedric Stewart with Keller Williams in Washington DC.
There's a reason why mortgage companies give you a range on your pre-approval. It's to allow allow you the freedom to decide how big of a mortgage payment you're willing to take on. Have your agent work up a few sets of closing costs at different price points to help give you an idea of what your monthly commitment will be.
Think realistically about how much you'll be able to pay while still enjoying the rest of your life and stick to that sale price. That said, you shouldn't get so intent on saving money that you forgo looking at properties within your range that will ultimately be a better fit for you. In this case, balance is key.