A Wish List is essential for any buyer. Usually, it goes something like this:
- Big kitchen.
- Sunny backyard.
- Double garage.
- Close to work/school/favorite pub.
All good stuff! A comprehensive outline, hitting the high points, acts as a road map for a well thought-out property search. Maybe you’ll even find your dream home on our first showing!
“Wow, really??” You ask.
“No, of course not,” I reply.
Although I have had buyers fall in love with a solid home with excellent resale value on the very first showing, it is not a frequent occurrence. But, it does happen.
Chances are better that we will see anywhere from 5 to 35* homes. Most buyers find The One before they have seen a baker’s dozen. The average for this year, for my buyers, as I write this in October 2018, is 17.5 viewings.
In 2013, the average # of homes viewed by my buyers before realizing a successful close was 4.4 different listings.
Times change. Buyers’ needs change. The number of homes you will have to poke through will increase or decrease based on the subtle interplay between your personal requirements and market conditions.
When the market is scorching hot and choices are limited, people select their favorites quickly. When economic forces slow to a crawl, inventory levels rise and buyers have more to choose from, so they look at more (and worry more) and come back for second or even third showings.
Often, they bring their Dads.
If you bring your Dad, his Wish List will look like this:
- No curling roof shingles.
- No condensation.
- No R Values below code.
- No settling, no sloping, no cracking.
- No water penetration.
- Five minute drive from your favorite father’s home.**
“Wait a minute,” you exclaim. “Dad’s list is longer than my list!”
“Sure is,” I agree. “And, he says ‘no’ a lot.”
What you don’t see is equally as important (and in some cases more significant) than what you do see. If it’s a toss up between a well-maintained home with less than appealing finishings and a property that looks & feels glorious but leaks, sags or buckles, pick the ugly one with the strong fundamentals.
Paint is cheap, foundation repair is not. Mature trees are wonderful but less so if you end up wrestling root growth out of your plumbing system.
What I am saying here is that I’ve got your and your Dad’s back.
I will find you a home that ticks all your boxes but we won’t lose sight of the structural underpinnings that catapult a home from a place you enjoy living in to a sound investment with future resale potential.***
It ain’t easy balancing wants and needs but it is definitely possible.
* Don’t worry, 35 showings is not the norm. I once worked with a young couple with specific home business requirements for their residence. Over a two year period, we saw 35 listings before nailing down the ideal home. So yes, it happens, occasionally. But I repeat, it is absolutely not the norm.
** We will find a workaround.
*** POTENTIAL is the real estate industry’s favorite word. Because of this, I almost don’t want to use it. But, I absolutely have to because POTENTIAL is the underlying drive for all of our decisions, in real estate and in our lives.
Take Note: if you are buying strictly for location. location, location, you are an investor and therefore, your rules of engagement may be different.