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As a Home Buyer, it’s a Good Idea to Keep an Open Mind

13 February 2020
Ela Napiorkowski

Weighing the benefits and drawbacks between two houses.

Every home buyer, after budgeting finances and arranging for a pre-approval as the first items to check off their list, must sit down and determine what features they need in their home. Prioritizing the sorts of features you want your home to have is important to start narrowing down the real estate opportunities presented to you, providing you direction in the purchasing process.

Your most significant criteria – price, location, and size – should lead your thinking here. Once these are determined, creating a list of your next level priorities will provide further direction: What do you want the exterior to look like? Do you want an older home with character, or a modern, newly built one? Do you want a gym or a wine cellar? Do you require parking? Would you prefer gas or electric? Do you want a home theatre or a library? Do you want an island in the kitchen? What about an on-suite master bathroom?

All of these items and many more are the sorts of things you should be zeroing in on for a preference in every occasion. Having an idea of these in advance will help locate properties worth investigating and make tough decisions between similar properties a bit easier. That said, it is equally important that, once you’ve gone through all this and made your decisions, you are at the same time open-minded enough to not pigeonhole yourself into wanting something that is likely going to be very difficult and stressful for you to make happen.

Let me, Ela Napiorkowski, Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Brokerage, explain why having an open mind during your real estate journey will relieve you of a lot of unwanted pressure, making the process easier on you, while also likely bringing you unforeseen, happy surprises when you move into your new home.

Knowing is important, being demanding is a hinderance

It’s one thing to decide on the top three criteria – price, location, and size – but it’s another thing to find all three of these exactly as you would like them. It is frequent that at least one of these criteria you will need to compromise with. You may have found the perfect sized house in your optimal location, but what if that house is above your price-range? What if there are other buyers also interested that are driving the price up. 

When you make these decisions, you need to be prepared to compromise in order to make a real estate purchase work. Whether you need to live in a different neighbourhood or live with one less bedroom or live with a tighter budget, it is a very good idea to approach the real estate process with a willingness to make changes in order to find the home that will fit your life in a realistic way, rather than drag the process on ad infinitum, searching for an ideal.

If you stick to your demands for these criteria, then you may be in the purchasing process a lot longer than you would like. I strongly encourage you to avoid such a fate by opening your mind up to new possibilities. While I make every effort to find the ideal property for my clients, I always warn them in advance that compromises are something they should prepare for.

Certainly, if finding a match with the top three criteria is challenging, just imagine matching those with your desire for an island in the kitchen, a 2-car garage, sun room, and an oak tree in the yard…

Compromising is a necessity

In my experience, I’ve been along for the ride with many home buyers who needed to make compromises in order to purchase their home. Certain features they really wanted were features that were either beyond their budget, not found in the neighbourhood they were hoping for, or simply not available on the market during that time.

Some of my greatest joy as a real estate agent is opening a door to a home for one of my clients and watching their eyes light up to the some of the ideal features they wanted found in the home I have brought them to. While I am always excited to show them such a home, there is always something about every home that will not hit the home run for them. Their eyes light up, but then I’m forced to also mention that the house isn’t available on their timeline, or the price is a bit high for their budget, or, while everything is practically perfect, this space actually only has two bedrooms, not three – or some other (likely large) detail (or a number of small ones) that misses the mark.

And this is the moment I need to assure them that having an open mind and a willingness to compromise is a necessity when purchasing a home. The process they need to go through is to figure out whether the sacrifices they need to make for the home are outweighed by the ideal ‘fits’ that are missing: is the compromise worth it?

The things you didn’t know you wanted will make you smile the widest 

I like to keep in contact with my clients after they have purchased their home, and I have learnt a lot from doing so. These follow up conversations typically elucidate unforeseen surprises that their home has provided since their move-in. And this is simply another reason why an open mind is of great benefit to any home buyer.

I’ve followed up with clients to hear how that feature they absolutely had to have, the one we passed up on a couple of other houses because they were missing it, has turned out to be not nearly as important as they initially thought. While it was a necessity before the purchase, now that they have it, they realize how it actually isn’t as significant as they once thought it was. This happens more than anyone would ever like to admit, but it does happen fairly frequently.

Moreover, there’s also usually other features of their new home, features they hadn’t really considered or didn’t think mattered, that, now that they’re living with them, are suddenly an indispensable feature they must have in any home they live in moving forward. These are the sorts of surprises that an open mind can lead to. Sticking to your list of wants and desires may in fact have you miss something you didn’t even realize was something you wanted, but, once you have it, you really do want it.

Being prepared and ready with the type of house and the features you want in your home is a necessary part of the real estate process. Knowing these, and then having an open mind about what is actually on the market, is the best way to make the process efficient and more successful than you would expect. Likewise, having a knowledgeable, experienced realtor to help guide you through the process and fill in the gaps of your knowledge is an indispensable tool on this journey. Call me, Ela Napiorkowski, your Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Professionals Inc. Brokerage, (416) 841-2356, as I am keen to make your real estate journey not only successful, but as pleasurable as possible.