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Ask a Principal Broker: How Do I Pick My House?

By Catherine Fisher, Managing Principal Broker/Owner

One of my all-time favorite questions that people ask me is if I frequently move because I view houses that I want to buy all the time. The answer is no. I have the opportunity to walk through all the homes on the market in all price ranges. And I see some truly amazing properties! But I do not want to buy all of them. Like the typical buyer, I don’t just want a stunning house; I want the right home for me. So what do I look for in my home? The same things a typical buyer should look for!

First, talk to a lender or CPA to determine what you can afford. Then, if you are getting a loan, look at the payment numbers and determine if you are comfortable with that payment. If not, adjust your price, down payment or both to reduce the mortgage payment to an amount you feel good about. Stay within the price limits of what you can afford.

Next, it is essential to consider needs versus wants. Focus on the needs. When looking at homes, often Buyers can sometimes get the two categories confused. A need is something that must happen, no matter what. Let’s say I have four kids, so I need a certain number of bedrooms. Those kids have a lot of bikes, so I need somewhere to store them. I want that storage to be additional space in the garage, but it could be a shed, covered bike area outside, or I could even give up parking my car in the garage so the bicycles can be stored there.
The requirements are four bedrooms and storage areas for bikes. The wants are five bedrooms and an oversized garage.

Last, manage your expectations. We have limited options in Linn and Benton Counties. Smaller towns especially will have low numbers of choices, even when there are a lot of homes on the market. It’s almost impossible to find a perfect home, so don’t expect to. Instead, make sure the house offers everything you need, and as many wants as well. If you find a home that is 85% perfect for you, grab it!

Your broker can connect you with a reputable lender, help you determine your needs while keeping your wants in mind, and assist you in finding and buying the right house for you! Call your favorite Town & Country Realty broker in Albany at 541-924-5616 or in Corvallis at 541-757-1781 today. You will be glad you did!