In some ways, finding the perfect holiday gift is very similar to buying a home. You may spend a lot of time researching and thinking about your home purchase. You’ll probably even seek the advice of an expert as you test out the many styles and sizes, however in the end, you’ll know when you’ve found the right one. And, while it may not be perfect, it will be a good fit for you and you will soon find yourself happily settled in your home.
You will likely find some surprises along the way to buying your home. Buyers are often perplexed at the time and process involved with a home purchase and having a knowledgeable real estate agent is a key to moving quickly in any home sale.
Another even more important aspect is knowing what you want as a home buyer. If you can map out the must haves and wants and communicate those to your agent, you will not spend needless time surveying properties that are of no interest to you and will find your home much sooner.
No Representation – While it’s true that you can search Craig’s List, websites, and visit open houses on your own, you as a consumer are not near as schooled in the local housing market as a local real estate agent would be. Smart shoppers often ask for advice and read reviews before making a gift purchase, and shopping for your home is much the same. Another benefit to having a knowledgable real estate agent is in the power of negotiation. There is an art to buying and selling real estate and a true professional can often negotiate offers, terms and pricing that will win you your home.
Lack of Vision – Look beyond the initial home tour and study the “bones” of the house. Consider how different paint and flooring could transform any home, and trust your real estate agent to advise you on whether or not the property is a diamond in the rough. A little maintenance, redecorating, and repairs can really update your home and seeing through rose colored glasses could win you a better deal on your home, too. Do, however, get an inspection on any property to make sure that the repairs are not more than you can manage. Gift shoppers go through this step, as well, when making discounted purchases.
Understand Your Nonnegotiables – Don’t compromise on items you think are essential. If you need RV parking, do not settle for a home that is lacking it and has no way to expand the drive. If you feel like you need a swimming pool, only look at homes with pools. Big changes such as these will be hard to make at a later date and may undermine your overall home satisfaction. It is acceptable to wait to find a home that can better accommodate your needs. And, with gifts, buy something that truly “fits” the recipient.
Look Ahead – Buy your home (and holiday gifts) to meet current needs, but also contemplate possibilities lurking in the near future. If a need for a nursery and quiet cul-de-sac loom in the future or a potential new job requires a lot of entertaining, it may be wise to consider those plans in your home purchase.