Never Compromise on These 5 Things When Buying a Home

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This month, we discuss the TOP FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLES in buying a home. In this crazy market, it might be tempting to compromise, but there are some things you should NEVER settle for. As always, we have a delicious (and easy!) recipe idea for those lazy nights home, as well as a GORGEOUS featured property, the current Charlotte County market status, and more. We hope you're having a great September.

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Never Compromise on These 5 Things When Buying a Home

By Terri Williams| August 25th, 2021

Even in tough buyer's markets, some preferences should be nonnegotiable. Here's how home shoppers can avoid buyer’s remorse. If you’re currently in the market for a new home, you’re probably feeling the stress of being a buyer in a seller’s market. Demand continues to outpace supply and some buyers, worn down after losing out on so many bidding wars, are ready to compromise on their wish lists. There is, however, a difference between the preferences on your wish list and your essentials—your must-haves. Settling for a house that lacks these non-negotiables can lead to buyer’s remorse. As you consider the pros and cons of different properties, keep in mind these features that you should never compromise on when buying a home. 

The School District

If you have kids, the school district is probably among the most important factors you’ll weigh when buying a home. But according to Tyler Forte, CEO of Felix Homes in Nashville, Tennessee, even if you don’t have kids, a well-regarded school district is essential.

“It’s important to choose a home in a good school district to ensure the property’s value will continue to increase over time,” he explains. “Based on my experience, homes located in a top school district maintain their value even if surrounding homes in the area see a decrease.” That’s because homes in a top school district will always be in demand.

The Location

In addition to the school district, there are other factors that can make the location nonnegotiable. “While you can change the floor plan or increase the square footage, the location of a house is one element that really can’t be remedied,” explains Nicole M. Christopherson of NMC Realty in Orange County, California.

For example, location determines the length of your commute, whether you’ll live in a walkable neighborhood, and other quality-of-life concerns. “It’s vital that home buyers make sure that a good location is on the list of must-haves for their new home,” Christopherson says. She advises against being swayed to move to a community just because it may be more affordable. If you compromise on the commute or surroundings, she warns, it will weigh on you over time.

This view is shared by Michael J. Franco, a broker at Compass in New York City. “In my opinion, location is everything, and I find that when clients sway or compromise on location, they regret it,” he says. “It doesn’t happen on every occurrence, but I have seen it quite a bit.”



The Home's Condition

It’s important to know your tolerance for disorder, uncertainty, and expense when buying a home that needs some work. As-is real estate might net you a good deal, but if you get in over your head those renovations could turn into a nightmare.

“Know your threshold and allow your agent to explain the value of the opportunities presented, but also understand the importance of not taking on too much in renovation costs and stress,” Christopherson explains.

She admits that the opportunity to choose your own finishes and create your own vision can be exciting. However, you need to clearly understand what renovations are necessary for the home to be livable, and you also need to know the costs of making both necessary and desired changes—and this might entail bringing some reno experts into the loop. “I recommend using your inspection times to ensure that these questions are thoroughly answered,” Christopherson says.


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