You are planning on house hunting and to prepare are watching all those HGTV shows and you have a long “must have” list for that perfect home. That’s great, but you also have a budget and all those “must haves” may not work with your budget. So what can you do?
First, start looking
Do this by finding an experienced Realtor to help you look. He or she can help you start that search. Be honest with him or her about your budget, and all the things you want in a home, including all those “must haves. Your Realtor will let you know if your “must have” list is reasonable or not. More likely than not, it isn’t reasonable, so now what?
One thing to consider about those “must haves” is upkeep
For instance, a marble countertop is absolutely gorgeous, but is it something you can keep looking that way? If you are insisting that a pool and spa are absolutely necessary, do you realize that there is testing, chemicals and cleaning to be done on them on a regular basis? There is an extra cost to purchase chemicals. If this is something that you can’t do or afford, take it from your list.
Another consideration is whether you can upgrade to these “must haves” at a later time
If you find a home that has some of the things you want and is the right size and price, you may want to decide that living with the carpeting while you save to refinish the hardwoods below them. You can put off updating the baths or kitchen if they are workable now and are just in need of cosmetic updates. In other words, decide what you can live with for now until you can afford to update to those “must haves.”
Be honest with yourself
Generally, you need to be very honest with yourself about what is really a “must have” and what is an “I’d like.” Keep in mind that if your budget just won’t accommodate everything you want, you’ll spend a lot of time looking and never find what you want.