Price, location, style, condition, size. Whether you are buying a 2 bedroom condo or a 2 million dollar estate, these basic elements will help you make your final decision. I can almost guarantee one of these will need to be negotiable.
Price: most buyers have a budget. Be sure to talk to a lender before you start your search. Give him or her every bit of financial information they ask for so they can give you a true assessment of what you can afford. Shop realistically within your budget.
Location: ahhh the famous phrase “location, location, location” still holds true. You can change a lot about a house but not the location. Busy streets, close to a park, cul de sacs, close to town and transportation…each location has a direct effect on pricing. Are you willing to compromise on location to stay within your budget?
Condition: everyone likes a move in house. Agents advise their sellers to present their homes in the best condition possible to get the highest price. There is a cost and a value to a move in house. You will pay more but maybe you don’t have the time or patience to do the work. The higher price reflected in a mortgage payment, at today’s low rates, might out weight the expenses of additional bills each month for the repairs on a fixer upper. On the other hand…if you are a DIY (do it yourselfer) than a house that needs TLC can reap big bonuses down the road. My rule of thumb: only compromise on condition when you find a great location with fixed up houses that are out of your price range.
Style is a personal matter. Colonials generally fetch a higher price. Cape cods are usually value priced. This is a general rule, not a fast one. Splits and bi-levels offer more living space. I personally like ranches but not every agrees. I sometimes meet buyers that will only look at one style. I have been in colonials that feel like capes, splits that look like colonials. Each house has unique attributes. This is a good area to be “negotiable.”
Size: while some buyers are buying up, others are buying down! Size will also have a direct correlation to price. If you love the location, it’s in great condition but you can only swing the price on the 3 bedroom not the four…well you will need to decide what’s most important.