4 Reasons you haven't bought a home yet
1. You want everything
Sometimes we become so intense about finding our dream house that we forget to be realistic. If you have a long laundry list of specific features you want in a home, don’t be surprised if you can’t find a home that has exactly everything you’re looking for. Of course, you may get lucky and find that perfect home, but if you don’t, try to remember that you can always alter parts of a home to make them your own. If a home checks most of your boxes, but it doesn’t have those granite countertops you want, well that’s something you can easily alter. Be careful not to cast a home to the wayside if it doesn’t meet all the requirements at face value. Ask yourself if you would be able to make simple updates after a move-in to make it your dream home.
2. You’re waiting for that "spark"
This may come to some as a shock, but houses are not people. They don't have souls. (Unless you believe in animism, in which case skip this point, because it doesn’t apply to you.) When you think about your future home you probably do more than picture yourself in it. You can probably feel the emotions that the very idea of “home” evokes. As we shop for that home, it’s very easy for the shopping process to become an emotional one. We want to feel that instant “this is the one.” Kind of like you see on that TLC show about the wedding dresses. Sometimes the bride breaks down in tears as if they’ve reached wedding gown-nirvana. On the other hand you see some brides that come in and they’ve over romanticized what it will feel like to find that dress to the point that it is almost impossible for the reality measure up. Or, like finding that special someone, we can easily psyche ourselves out if we over romanticize what it will feel like with this person. You may find yourself passing someone up very special because “the spark” isn’t there on the first date. This can easily happen when finding a home.
We are searching for the space where a significant portion of our lives will happen. And so, we become so acquainted in our imagination with the joy that will ensue in this place, that when we step inside it don’t get butterflies, we wonder “where’s the spark?”
I’m all about trusting your gut, but it’s important to consider that this type of approach may be a trap. Now, even if houses were people, consider this: some people fall in love at first site and fireworks are going off and its like something out of a movie. Other people think rationally and think wow this person offers a lot and the love grows over time. Buying your “dream” house is an emotional decision but don’t let your desire for that instant spark keep you from deciding on a great house. And after all, it’s not necessarily the house that makes a home special, but the people and interactions inside it.
3. You’re a maximizer
In the age of instant information we have a wonderful supply of inventory available to us, and that’s a good thing. Gone are the days of flipping through the Real Estate Book. But, think about how your perspective might be different if you didn’t have the internet to find a home. I imagine that people would feel a whole lot more in love with the homes they liked. With the internet, you might find a home you really like and instead of thinking “Wow, I’m so lucky to have found this!” you are thinking “well I like it, but there might be something better.” In psychology, they call this type of thinking maximizing. I have to admit, I’m one of them. But let me attest personally that this attitude can actually set you back in some cases. Some people just make a decision and stick with it without an overly exhausting search. Some people, like me, can’t even make small purchases without finding the best possible option via extensive research. They exhaust all of the options until they’ve found the best possible choice. But the funny thing about these contrasting types is that studies show that the person who makes a quicker decision tends to be happier with it when compared to the maximizer. Don’t get me wrong, you should search hard for the right home, and it’s a decision to be made with great care and due diligence. However, if you’re obsessed with using the internet and think there’s always something better no matter how much you like a house, then you may just be a maximizer.
4. You’re closed-minded about neighborhood
Sometimes we absolutely know where we want to live and aren’t willing to compromise on that, and that’s fine. When it gets tricky however is when the location that you’re dead set on becomes unnecessarily restrictive. When this becomes a recurring issue, you may want to consider another nearby location which is going to give you more of the features you're looking for. Another important idea worth considering is to examine why you really want to live in that area. Are you committed to Robbinsville for the school system? Or do you really want access Princeton’s restaurants and culture? Well you may or may not be able to compromise for a nearby town depending on what your reasons are, but it's worth making that clear for yourself.
When you know what you want and why, it can be empowering and helpful. Just make sure you don’t needlessly limit yourself until you see what other locations have to offer.
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My name is Brandon Rasmussen and I’m a Realtor. If you are thinking of buying, selling or renting a home I can make it simple and stress free. Give me a call or text at 609-651-5167. Or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.