We went for a family drive the other day and as often happens we started talking about houses, real estate and dream homes. Our son noticed a very large house and remarked on it being a mansion and “wouldn’t everyone want to live in a mansion?” After telling him “no” and adding that everyone’s tastes are different, I got to thinking about his comment.
In the last year, we have worked with a diverse range of clients. They include a pretty full sampling of our community. Families moving from the rental market into the ownership market for the first time. Young singles looking to buy their first home. New Canadians transferring their ownership experience to the Canadian marketplace. Families moving up into executive style homes. Empty nesters looking to relocate to a different neighbourhood and in some cases right out of the city. And seniors, looking to downsize their homes for less square footage.
One aspect was consistent with all of them. The initial discussion on their ideal new home - there is a long list of wants and needs. And of course, the neighbourhood is very specific. And sometimes there is an initial disappointment when the first set of homes is viewed.
The reality is there are limitations on what is available to each of us. Brian Buffini and Joe Niego, two of North America’s best known Real Estate gurus, talk about three major factors in finding the ideal home that we all must consider.
- Price / Budget: Of course, this seems like a no-brainer. We all have a price range that is available to us. This is dependent on a number of factors that your mortgage specialist is better equipped to discuss in detail. The bottom line though, is that money does not grow on trees and each of us has a range we can access for a home, based on income, assets, and credit score.
- Location: One of two subjective factors in these three factors. I think that most of us have different reasons for wanting to buy a home in a particular area. It could be you want to be close to a specific school for your kids or an opportunity to reduce your work commute time. It could be to get closer to family and friends. It could be to access local amenities. Whatever the reason, everyone has preferences as to location.
- Style / Size: The last factor, also subjective is a style and size that one would prefer. Would you prefer a two-storey or a bungalow? Single family or condominium? Cozy or spacious? These are all considerations everyone looks at when searching for a new home.
Okay, so what is the challenge? If you know what you have in mind, what makes searching for a home so difficult? Plug the parameters into a search engine and voila….a new home should appear.
Just like on TV.
But it isn’t always so easy.
You have to take the three criteria above and mash them together to find a home that fits. A two acre lot with a mountain view, three thousand square feet of living space and all for a couple hundred thousand dollars is a nice dream. But it may not be reality.
Let’s start with one of the fundamentals – budget. Budget will determine a lot, including potential size and location. If your heart is set on a location that is prime, you may still be able to fit in your budget, but you may have to compromise on style and size.
If style and size is more important than location, then you may have to broaden your search to other neighbourhoods that are more affordable.
Any way you look at it, unless you have an unlimited budget, you will have to find your ideal home in the sweet spot where budget, location, and style/size meet. When you do that, you can find the home that is right for you.