1. I know what I want, but I just can't find it.
2. I know what I DON'T want, and that is all that I am seeing.
3. I just don't know WHAT I WANT anymore.
Each of these points of indecision can be over come with proper expectation setting during the home buying trade-off process. The problem is not finding the right home, but rather in recognizing a great fitting home when you find it and then pulling the trigger--before someone else does.
The challenge with the first indecision point, "I know what I want, but I just can't find it", is that the buyer often really wants everything that they have seen in a house that they loved, yet their budget is not equipped to support their wish list. The budget trade-off is present in every home buying decision--regardless of the buyer's target budget. There is always something bigger, something with more home features, something with more Wow!
The challenge with the second indecision point, "I know what I DON'T want, and that is all that I am seeing", is that they really don't have any real list of features that they are looking for yet, and they are still looking for something to jump out at them like a 30 minute TV episode of Saturday morning home shopping. Because they don't have a list, nothing ever really looks like the perfect home for them. Some undefined thing is always missing.
The challenge with the third indecision point, "I just don't know WHAT I WANT anymore", is that the buyer starts the process without a clear set of priorities for what was most important to them and now they have seen so many homes that they can't make up their mind what is important and what they will have to trade off. This can often be because of lack to process and direction during the home buying journey. If every home that you see does not take you closer to your end goal, something is not working in the process.
There is a fourth indecision arena: "I'll know it when I see it." This is a buyer who simply has not had proper coaching and direction or is simply unable at the current time to let anyone help them get out of this black-hole. A buyer caught in this trap has to consciously crawl out and being to focus their thoughts on why they want a home, what they need in a home and when they are going to buy a home.
Sometimes buyers have to initiate a reset. Clear the screen and start a new list of "Must-have's". Then separate out the Must-have's from the Like-to-haves. But to do this, buyers have to be realistic about their budget, what the market has to offer and what they are willing to trade off in their list. Until a buyer is willing to make the trade-offs, they will continue to be frustrated with the indecision of not finding the perfect home for their needs.
Now. Take a deep breath. Tear up your old lists and prior expectations. Start with your budget. How much are you willing to pay for your home. Get a realistic estimate from an experienced mortgage banker. Now ask yourself, "What is the most important thing that I must have in my new home?" What is the second most important thing that I must have that still fits in my budget? What is the third most important feature that I would really like to see in my new house. Stop there. Now go sit down with your Realtor and see if you can find a home that meets your budget with these things in mind.
If you focus your search on just a few important features that are really important to you and your family, you are more likely to stay focused on the things that really matter and spend less time thinking about things that can easily be worked around or figured out later. You will find your dream house to convert into your perfect home.
Happy house hunting.
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