Whether you’re a first-time buyer or have bought multiple homes, too many people are looking for perfection. It’s strange to spend so much time and energy looking for a perfect home. When you think of it, what in our lives is absolutely perfect? What else do we purchase where we insist on such a high level of perfection?
Let’s dispel with the suspense: There is no perfect home. Any home you buy, you’ll have to work to make it perfect for you. What’s perfect today will change next week or next year. Our needs and lives are always changing, hopefully for the better and as they do, our definition of the perfect house changes. Not too long ago I helped a friend find his first home. We looked at 53 different places before he made up his mind. His definition of perfection would change during the search. A home we had seen much earlier in the search was the winner and we both knew it. It took looking at a lot more houses over numerous days and clocking a bunch more miles for him to come to that conclusion. Fortunately for him the house was still available. Real estate is a combination of art and science so don’t ignore your gut feelings.
I know what you’re thinking; I’ll build a home from either builder spec or have it designed. Maybe you’ll find a great place and do a complete renovation and rebuild it to your specifications. Either way, once you’re done there will be a list of things that you wish you had done or not done. Friends of mine finished a total gut on a great old Victorian house. They did a spectacular job and I thought the house was fantastic. About a year later they realized that the master bedroom was too small, they wanted a 3-season room and the living room didn’t have enough storage. So the next renovation started and a couple of years later it still continues. With each improvement, the house looks fabulous (I’d be very happy living there). Most of us don’t have the resources to continually renovate our home to satisfy our new needs but for them the search for perfection continues.
Save yourself aggravation and disappointment; don’t look for perfection, look for happy. What would make you happy in a home? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. My recommendation is to start by creating a “must have and like to have” list. Must haves are: must be in a certain location, have so many bedrooms, sun positioning or yard size. The “must haves” are more about the items that are not easily changeable or things you need now. Like to have can be so many things from hardwood floors to adding granite counters to updating bathrooms. Many of these things can be added, updated or changed over time.
The perfect dream home is something we need to make for ourselves that can’t be bought. Very often our first reaction to a home is the most honest one. If it feels like home and your constantly comparing it as you continue your search, chances are you’ve found your new home. Go with your gut and trust your heart.