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How Compromise Can Deliver Your Ideal Home - February 2022

By Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder, propertybuyer.com.au

 

When it comes to choosing a home, we all have our wish list of inclusions. They are designed to cater to our lifestyle and help unearth our perfect property.
The pursuit of this home usually begins with a burst of enthusiasm. You will head to each open inspection expecting to discover your ideal house in your desired location… and all within budget.
But I can tell you from experience that this rarely goes to plan.
The problem with perfection is that it’s rare.
Homebuyers who won’t compromise are setting themselves up for disappointment. They will exhaust their momentum and eventually abandon the hunt or buy something entirely inappropriate out of desperation.
There’s a better solution. If you know how to sensibly compromise as a buyer, you can make smart choices that will deliver a terrific outcome.
So, what are the concessions you should entertain to end up with your perfect home?

The compromises worth making
There are several ways you can flex when house hunting that will see you achieve an excellent outcome.

The house
The great thing about houses is that they can, generally, be altered to suit your needs.
Buyers who reject a property purely because of cosmetics are making a huge mistake. Paintwork, floor coverings, and general fitout can be changed to improve the home. Structural and non-structural alteration can also be made to enhance a home’s layout. Perhaps you can shift a wall and create an extra bedroom? Maybe you should add a deck or find additional storage in the roof cavity?
Best of all, properties that require this work can often be bought at a discount. Whatever you save on the buy-in price can be spent on the refurbishment.
This includes outside improvements. Landscaping, pools, flat yards… you name it. There are any number of additions (or demolitions) you can make that will bring the ancillary outdoor structures in line with your wants.
In short, look for good bones and envisage ways to create your perfect home through some renovation effort.

The location
Yes, I know – the one thing you can’t change about real estate is location. You are buying a titled allotment that’s fixed in place by registered plans of some sort.
My thought here is that buyers need to be flexible on their choices of location, particularly if their budget is limited.
Sure, most people would love to live in Avalon, but many don’t have the $4.5 million needed to buy a home there.
Instead, if you have your heart set on a certain address but it’s too pricey, consider an alternative location that gives you good access to the things you love. Perhaps those Avalon buyers would also like Mona Vale? It’s a short drive to the peninsula but you can save yourself a million or so by heading southwest.
The one thing that is definitely changeable about location is you! For first and second homebuyers, it’s unlikely you’ll secure your ‘forever home’ straight away… but you will get there eventually. Think of your bridesmaid suburb as a steppingstone on the way to your dream house.

Price vs. Time
Think very hard about whether you’re able to compromise on budget. How much are you willing to spend buying a property? More to the point, if you had to find a few extra dollars to get that great home, could you do it?
I’m not suggesting people dramatically overpay for their real estate, however when markets are hot, you should understand the difference between paying a little more and paying too much. In most instances (particularly over the past decade), those who found the additional dollars to secure their home have had few regrets about stretching themselves. The equity they’ve gained over time has been more than worth it.
Just make sure you rely on sound advice from an independent buyers’ agent or valuer before you decide on your absolute pain point.

Better to own than wait
Being in the market is better than being on the side lines. If you are too rigid and hold out for the ‘perfect’ home, chances are you’ll be watching property values run away from you. Eventually, you will be priced out.
It’s often smart to get the best home you can afford now, rather than hold out and wait for that perfect property to come along. Owning real estate means you’ve got a foot on the ladder, and as property prices rise, so too does your financial position.
This is, again, particularly true for first and second home buyers. You can’t often get what you want from the start but set realistic expectations and be patient. Your dream home might be your fourth, fifth or even eighth purchase. Dream home ownership is a journey that takes time, but the rewards are well worth it.

Thing one you should never compromise on is…
the right advice!
Having an experienced buyers’ agent looking after your needs means you have an expert in your corner. They know which fundamentals are absolute must-haves, and where compromises should be made. A buyers’ agent can walk you through all the options and help you chart a course that will lead to your ideal home.

 

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