Buyer Basics: Part 4 - Home Search

    If you compare the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary definition for house and home, they are extremely similar.  

    House (n) – a building that serves as living quarters for one or a few families 

    Home (n) – one’s place of residence 

    Yet, the feelings that house invokes are a stark contrast from those of the word home. The connotation of the words is amazing. Close your eyes and think of a house. Personally, in my mind’s eye, I visualize a structure. Now, close your eyes and think of a home. Smells, sounds, and feeling flood my mind. There is a definite emotional attachment to a home. 

    What makes a house a home? Essentially, the difference is the memories that a home invokes. All buyers want to purchase a house that will become their home. With so many options on the market, how do buyers decipher which house will become their eventual home? 

    It is essential that a home buyer identifies their own needs versus their wants. Needs can range from location to types of homes, to home specifications such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Needs focus on the functionality of the house for the buyer. Wants, however, are typically more cosmetic. For instance, granite countertops, open floor plans, and neighborhood amenities are just a few examples. Identifying needs versus wants is the first step in the home search. 

    The common adage in real estate is, “Location, location, location.” Since there are many different options available to home buyers, finding a location will help weed out non-contenders. School districts and proximity to workplaces are the two biggest factors when thinking about a location in which to purchase. The location of the home can also be a factor in future resale. Location is by far the most important need that all buyers will consider. 

    If location is the most popular need for buyers, then pricing will be a close second. It is essential that buyers calculate a price range they are comfortable paying. The best way to figure out a buyer’s price point is simply to speak with a lender. A buyer is probably not going to know whether he or she can afford a $200,000 home. A buyer does know, however, what their monthly budget for a mortgage payment will be. A mortgage banker will be able to look at your income and give a price range. With that price range, the lender will also be able to inform the buyer of an estimated monthly mortgage payment.  

    Another common need that buyers have is the size of home needed. Some buyers are looking to down-size, some families are expanding, and some are just looking for a different home. All these buyers have one thing in common: there is a distinct number of bedrooms each will need to house their family’s needs.  For instance, a family of five will need at least three bedrooms, if not four. Likewise, a retired couple will probably not need a five-bedroom home. 

    Buyers should aim to keep their “Needs List” to 2-4 only. Then, on a separate “Wants List,” buyers may write down as many wants as they wish. Buyers should take both lists with them during showings with their agent. This will help keep the original intent in mind. After the first few rounds of showings, sometimes buyers lose focus on the original search. These lists will help maintain focus.  

    At Tyre Realty Group, our dedicated buyer’s agents help identify the needs and wants of all of our buyers. We hold home buying consultations with buyers to identify the needs and wants of our clients. We have found that these consultations have been extremely beneficial in helping out clients not only find a house but find their home. If you are a prospective buyer and would like to have a personal home buying consultation with a member of our team, feel free to call us at (252) 758-HOME or visit our new office at 505 Red Banks Road Suite E.

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