For years you have been dreaming of your future home and now you finally have enough money saved to begin your search. You get your pre-approval letter, find a trusted real estate agent, and the search for your dream home starts. In today's market, going into a home search with lofty expectations can leave you disappointed—and lead to buyer fatigue very quickly. The reality is that even under perfect circumstances, you should expect to make some concessions when it comes to the idealized "dream home" you have in your head. Here are some common misconceptions about dream homes that can trip up buyers looking to buy a NJ home during a seller's market.
Misconception #1: Your dream home will be within your budget.
With rising home prices and widespread financial struggle impacting most areas of the US right now, chances are you have a very specific budget for your home search. The unfortunate reality is that your expectations for your "perfect" house might exceed your finances. Buyers tend to focus on the purchase price of the home, but you also have to factor in insurance, property taxes, maintenance, utilities, new furniture, and home improvements. Staying within your budget is essential to being a successful homeowner.
Misconception #2: You won't have to "settle."
Window shopping online listings and daydreaming about owning a perfectly restored three-story Victorian mansion down the street from an idyllic seascape is fun, but it might not be realistic when it comes to your house search. Chances are you will have to sacrifice a few of your dream home requirements in order to find your real dream home. The best thing you can do is look online or in person at some homes in your budget to make sure your expectations are realistic.
Misconception #3: You won't have to make any significant repairs.
You may find a home that you love and discover it needs some major repairs. Even if you get a home inspection and the home passes with no glaringly obvious flaws, the home you are interested in could still need some major—and expensive—repairs down the line. Home ownership requires a lot of upkeep as well as funds. The house might be ok now, but even a year from now you could need to replace or repair siding, appliances, roofing or windows. All of this needs to be taken into account when determining your budget.
Misconception #4: Remodels will be quick, cheap, and easy.
With the proliferation of HGTV and Instagram-able DIY home mods, many would-be homeowners expect their new home to look perfect the moment they walk in the door. Even if there are some changes they would make, they expect remodels to be inexpensive and easy. The truth is the right home for you might have a long way to go before it is up to your standards. These remodels might be more expensive that you imagine. You should also be wary of taking on home projects that are above your skillset. With enough time and work anything is possible, but it is important to be realistic about these projects from the beginning.
It is a competitive market for buyers right now. The best chance you have of finding the perfect home for you is to stay flexible and work with an experienced real estate agent. You don't have to let go of all of your dream home expectations, but be realistic about the home buying process - especially in such a strong seller's market.