When real estate professionals talk about HGTV, we sound sort of smug. The conversation often is about how unrealistic these shows are. Who buys after seeing only three homes? How do they keep the renovation budgets so low? But there is one thing that HGTV gets right.
On the "House Hunters" features, one criteria that the home buyers or renters give their agents is a price range. More often than not, the agent brings them to a place that is supposed to knock their socks off, and it's pretty much always above their price range.
When a client tells me what they want to spend for a house or condo, I try to dig a little deeper.
- How much do you want your monthly paymnet to be?
- Have you spoken to a lender, and is this amount consistent with what they'll qualify you for?
- Are you talking about the check you write each month, or should I include the savings from your tax deduction?
- If it's a condo, we'll need to take the monthly fee and what it does or does not include into the equation.
Then once we tease it all out, I'm really careful to respect the resulting price limits.
My own buyers, like buyers everywhere, often come to me with champagne taste and a beer budget. And we wind up finding something they love and a price that works.
This doesn't mean there won't be compromises. We might have to check out alternative neighborhoods. They might have to look at homes that are smaller or that have fewer features than were on their original lists.
And at the end of the day, my clients almost never wind up spending more money than they think is prudent for their situation. That is a compromise that fewer people seem to be willing to make these days.
If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC metro area, please call me (202-549-5167) or email me (Housepat@mac.com) before you make any important real estate decisions.
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