Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make in your life (if not the biggest). It’s understandable and normal to feel worry and doubt about whether you’re making the right decision. Chances are, you’ll look at several homes that will feel almost perfect – they’re very close to what you set out to find, but missing one or two of the features you’d really like to have.
So how do you know if you should buy that almost perfect home? Ask yourself these questions.
Can you wait?
Is your upcoming move part of relocating for work? Do you need to be in your new house before the school year begins? A time-sensitive move can inform whether or not you need to settle on a home that isn’t quite perfect. If you don’t have much time to spare, you’ll need to decide between the homes that are currently on the market in your price range. If you can wait, then you can hold out to see if a home that’s closer to your dream home becomes available.
Is the missing feature a deal-breaker?
During the home-buying process, it’s important to clearly understand exactly what it is you’re looking for. You should create a list of what you need to have in a home and a list of what you’d like to have in a home – a kind of “wish list.” It’s important to know the difference between the two. Maybe you have your heart set on a home with a wood-burning fireplace, but is it really a deal-breaker if you find a home that has everything but that? Decide what you truly need and be willing to compromise on some of your wish-list items. Otherwise, you may be waiting a long time for the perfect home to materialize.
Can you make changes down the line?
Maybe you’ve found a home in a great neighborhood with the perfect number of bedrooms, but it’s a little dated inside. Or perhaps the yard doesn’t look as nice as it could. Or maybe you were really hoping for a swimming pool, but the home you’re considering doesn’t have one. When confronted with these situations, it’s important to think about whether or not these are changes that you can tackle after you move in. Can you do a little re-decorating inside? Is the feature that’s missing something that can be added down the line, like new landscaping or a pool? If the home has good bones, then it may be worth buying the almost perfect house that can be updated after you move in.
Is your “perfect” home affordable?
While it’s easy to caught up in the emotions of buying a home, it’s important to remember that this is an investment you’ll be making payments on for years. Have you honestly considered how much you would have to spend to get your perfect dream home, and is it realistically in your budget? Or will making those mortgage payments every month put a real strain on your finances? If that perfect home is outside of your financial reach, then in the long run you’ll be happier that you found a way to love the almost perfect home that leaves you enough money to take family vacations or send the kids to private school.
In the end, only you know whether or not the almost perfect house is right for you. Ask yourself these questions and trust your gut when it comes time to decide.