When searching for a house to buy, it is very tempting to try to find the perfect house. But that isn't always possible. Usually there will be some area that has to be compromised and not exactly what you wanted. The question is can you live with those compromises... or can you change them down the road. There are always three main categories when it comes to buying a house... location, price, and features. Usually you can get one or two exactly like you want but not all three. For example, you may have to pay more for the location and features you want, which means your price won't be what you want.
Location you can't change, so if that is important to you it will likely be that you need to adjust slightly on one of the other two areas (price and features). One thing to ask yourself about location is can you go just outside of this area to get a better price? Location is usually based on proximity to family, friends or schools. For example, if you desire a specific area because of the schools, can you move just outside of your ideal location and drive your kids to the specific school you want?
Price is one that has a few different levels. The first is how much you are allowed to spend based on your mortgage approval. Second is how much you are willing to spend to keep within your own personal budget. Third is possibly what is the least you are willing to spend. It could be that lower priced houses just don't have the features you want or require so much more work than you are willing to put into the house. In the event that you are willing to buy a fixer upper, you should also make sure that the things you could change about the house would not price you as the highest priced house in the neighborhood. That could hurt your resale value and make it harder to sell the house down the road or to fully recoup your investment fixing up the house.
Finally, features will play an important role in what house you consider to be perfect. This is likely where you will compromise the most. But this also has the most potential to be adjusted in the future. In the even that you want a certain number of bedrooms, can additional ones be added in the future? Do you need that nice, upgraded kitchen today, or can you update it later down the road? Is there enough land to add the pool later on? When looking through houses and deciding what to buy, you want to think through what can you not live without, and what can be added at a later point, or what can you just live without.
As real estate agents, our job is to help you find the house you want to buy. We are here to serve our clients and look out for their best interests. But we will also show you different options that might push the envelope on what you think might be the ideal home. In the end you will find a home you love though!