Surprise and Compromise in Yourtown House Hunting

A while back, the Realtor® website ran a 90-second video about How to Buy with a core message that could be helpful to anyone who has set about house hunting in [territory]. The theme was about the value of compromise—not insisting on a rigid checklist of predetermined criteria to be the be-all/end-all for your house hunting venture. That’s practical advice for keeping housing budgets manageable. The experts named the top four areas in which flexibility is most constructive: 

  • Location
  • Space (square footage)
  • Yard size
  • Architectural style

Although applying too much flexibility for all four would leave shoppers without a place to start, it’s a list that should be useful during Yourtown house-hunting expeditions—especially once you assign an order of importance to each. 

In another way, too, it’s a valuable list to think about: I’d call it the basis for “dream house” searches. Real estate literature often speaks of “finding the house of your dreams” as if that’s how most buyers frame their search—but unless the price is literally no object, that’s not actually what most people anticipate—the majority of Yourtown house hunting ventures are a lot more reality-based. 

Today’s buyers are more likely to set out hoping to find what might better be thought of as a “surprise house.” That would be one that has everything they need and most of what they want. What often happens is something else: some feature or features that they hadn’t anticipated. It might be an outdoor hot tub or a two-faced fireplace. It could be a one-of-a-kind water feature in the backyard or a well-crafted kids’ treehouse. Sometimes that large or small unlooked-for extra feature turns out to define the family home!

House hunting is simply unlike any other kind of shopping expedition—and one that remains an ever-fascinating activity. One of the best parts of my profession is accompanying my Yourtown clients as they make their own discoveries and arrive at their final decisions. Call me when you decide to get started! 

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