The Jersey Shore by Karl Hess: January 2014

Home Buyer Expectations

OK - you're ready to go house hunting! You've already talked to your mortgage consultant and you've been "pre-approved" for a loan (not pre-qualified, pre-approved). You start looking in areas in which you're interested and you come up with a list of amenities you'd like in the home; updated kitchen, wood floors, big closets, etc. This is where home buyers begin to lose a little focus of what the "must have" vs. "nice to have" list should contain.
Here is an email I received recently from a new home buyer and when you read the excerpt keep in mind the median price for a home she's describing, in the area in which she's interested, WITHOUT all the 'bells and whistles,' is about $500,000.

"I'm FHA approved for 310,000. That's is my price range I can't go over it. Our must have's: 5 bedrooms 3 bathroom on suite with Jacuzzi, shower and double sink. All bedrooms with walk-in closets. A finished basement. An updated stainless-steel kitchen...front load washer and dryer. Central air and forced hot air heat. Wood floors throughout...some carpet is ok but must be like-new. 2 car garage. Must have low taxes. Pool. Good curb appeal and built no later than 1990. Must be completely remodeled and no further than 30 minutes from work. Seller must pay closing cost. I HAVE THREE WEEKS...."
There are three very unrealistic expectations in the above request: price, amenities and location.
So what's the solution? When you are house hunting, making a list of your ‘must haves' is really useful—these are the things that you cannot live without.  How many bedrooms do you need. Location is important—how far is your travel to work or to school. Type of home can also be very important; two story or single story, maybe a 3 story townhome. You may also want to consider the size of the lot if you want a large yard.


Item's such as granite counters and stainless steel appliances are not considered ‘must haves.'  Why?  Because those are modifications you can make to any home you buy, and belong on your wish list. Those items can be added over time. View properties for their construction quality and keep an idea of what you can do to improve the property to your tastes...let me say that again - keep an idea of what YOU can do to improve the property later.

So, when it comes to making a choice between wish-list items, give more weight to the one that can’t be changed.  The number one criterion when buying a home is to have realistic expectations and, of course, location. To avoid frustration and disappointment, be realistic about your 'must have' and 'nice to have' list.

P.S. It also takes about 6-8 weeks to "close" (take possession of) a make sure you leave ample time to purchase your dream house...and make sure your use a local, experienced agent!

Keller Wlliams




Find Your Dream Home on The Jersey Shore in Ocean County!


 Licensed in New Jersey.  Keller Williams Shore Properties 

770 Lighthouse Dr. Barnegat, NJ Phone: 732-797-9001




Comment balloon 2 commentsKarl Hess • January 30 2014 02:01PM
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