What’s Non-Negotiable, and Where To Compromise When Buying Your Home

With low interest rates, now is the perfect time to get into your next (or first) home. But we recommend going into this exciting venture prepared. You will need to know what’s non-negotiable and where to compromise when buying your home.

Your home is your safe haven – your refuge from the outside world. It’s a place where you can relax, recharge, and spend time with your family. However, if you’ve been spending a lot more time inside lately, you may have realized that it’s time for a change.   

Here are some things you might be looking for in a new home: 

  • More square footage inside the house for all those quarantine board games and puzzles you’ve accumulated 
  • Increased yard space to keep kids active and entertained, and perhaps for some therapeutic gardening 
  • A change in floor plan, if the open concept that seemed like a good idea at the time isn’t working for Zoom calls and online schooling 

What is a ‘must have’ and what is ‘nice to have’? 

We’ve all seen the shows where he wants a Spanish bungalow and she wants minimalist modern mansion. It’s fun to watch other couples argue about architecture and color schemes. But when looking for a home, you need to be on the same page as the person you are purchasing with or plan to share your home with. Even if you’re going into the process alone, you should be clear on what is a ‘must have’ and what is ‘nice to have.’  

Many homebuyers start off their search with a long list of things they simply cannot do without, for example: 

  • Wooden floorboards 
  • Natural light 
  • Period details 
  • Chef’s kitchen 
  • Entertaining space 

When it comes to finding a home that’s in the budget you’ve been preapproved for, located in your desired area and just happens to be on the market, you will have to separate the things you’d like, from the things you actually need.  

Make a list. Check it twice.  

Before you even walk into an open house, make a list of all the things you’d like in your new home. Then take a highlighter and – be honest now – mark the things that are non-negotiable. Look for where you simply won’t compromise when buying your home. And what could prove flexible?

Flooring might seem important. But couldn’t you compromise on dated carpet if the home has ample parking and a well-positioned laundry? Sure, you want a six-burner stove, but if you’re choosing between high end appliances and an extra bedroom, you need to consider what is crucial, and what is a luxury you’ll only make use of a few times a year.  

Perhaps that salmon pink bathroom isn’t to your taste, but you can rectify the situation with a quick trip to Home Depot and a day in paint-splattered overalls. That character home with a narrow driveway, however, may give you a headache every time you try to pull your SUV in at the end of a long day.  

What’s “honeydo” appropriate, and what requires a professional? 

Considering the extent of projects always ends up being important. Knowing the duration and complexity of adjustments is vital when considering where to compromise when buying your home.

Some larger projects you might want to avoid include: 

  • Knocking down walls 
  • Adding a bathroom 
  • Reconfiguring a kitchen 
  • Creating new parking spaces 

Things that can be fixed in a weekend include: 

  • Changing wall colors 
  • Adding storage cabinets or shelving 
  • Switching out dated light fixtures 

Your realtor is your new best friend 

Don’t forget to keep your realtor in the loop with what is most important for you. They can remind you how much you need a gated yard for your dog when you find yourself sidetracked by a penthouse with an expansive view. Remember, you can enjoy a stay in a quirky vacation rental that has the elements you had to compromise on, and then love coming home to a space that really works for you, and can be customized over time to suite your style and changing needs.  

Get it while it’s hot! 

The market is hot right now, so you’ll need to act fast when you find a suitable property. If you want to wait until everything on that list is checked off, you might miss on a great opportunity.  

Contact Century 21 Peak to find a realtor who can guide you through the process.  We can help you decide which goals you should stick to, and where to compromise when buying your next home.