Opening the door of a prospective home opens the door to a thousand possibilities. To avoid getting lost in dreamland, homebuyers should do some critical thinking about what they’re looking for in a new home.
Nadine Kirk, real estate agent with her husband, Jim, in The Kirk Team RE/MAX Alliance, Castle Rock, Colo., says there are four important questions a prospective homebuyer must ask.
1. What do I need in my new home?
“Take a few minutes to sort out your priorities. It might seem boring compared to looking at houses, but it can save you a lot of headaches later,” says Nadine Kirk “If you can figure out what you absolutely, positively need – whether that’s a good location or a certain number of bedrooms – you’ll be able to eliminate listings that don’t make sense and you’ll have something to focus on as you go about your search.”
Take a look at your current home. Perhaps the plumbing has caused years of headaches. Maybe new arrivals in the family need more space.
2. What can I do without?
After pounding out the essentials, it’s tempting to switch into daydream mode about the perfect home. However, while figuring out the essentials is a crucial step toward making the home search easier, it’s important to keep in mind that not every dream house is a reality. It’s important for buyers to realize that there are features they may have to go without.
“Knowing what you need is important, but it’s also crucial to keep in mind what you can do without. If you know what you need and what you can live without, it can make decision-making easier,” Nadine advises. “Does location trump how big the house is? How about if the closets are small? If you figure out what you, the buyer, can do without, it’s easier to navigate things, especially if there’s no clear-cut, number one choice.”
3. Why am I moving here?
This is a question to think about once you’ve hammered out the essential and negotiable factors of a house and are looking at properties. Why would you move to a large house in the country or a small place in a tight-knit neighborhood? What prompted your need to move? How would this property meet that need? Keeping the initial reason for moving in mind will give you the focus you need to evaluate homes based on your needs.
4. How long will I live here?
This question seems bizarre, since the homebuyer is looking to buy, but it can be a very useful one when evaluating a house. “It’s unlikely that you’re going to be staying in this house forever,” Nadine explains. “So it’s actually important to think about what selling it will be like.
“Buying is a big commitment, no question about it. But statistically, it’s not likely to be a permanent one,” she adds. “So think about how you’re buying with that fact in the back of your mind. Are you willing to invest a lot in a home if you’re not going to live there long? Are you likely to move again soon?”
Get the answers to those questions straight, Nadine says, and you’ll be much better equipped to navigate the housing market.
“At The Kirk Team RE/MAX Alliance, we’re always just an email or phone call away,” she says. “This is your house you’re looking for. You want to make sure it’s as close to the dream home as it can possibly be. We want to help you get to that point however we can.”
Need some expert guidance? Nadine Kirk knows the market and has 25 years of real estate experience. The Kirk Team RE/MAX Alliance is a listing broker with deep ties to the Castle Rock area.
Ask Nadine for a free market analysis of your home and connect with an expert in Castle Rock real estate.