Finding the perfect home is never a given, but what do you do when you find two homes for sale? If you have the “good fortune” of finding yourself in this situation, then you may find the choice between the two homes is more difficult than you imagined. Unfortunately, when buying a home, time is normally not on your side, and you will more than likely, need to make a decision in a short period of time, meaning a couple of days to just a matter of hours.
There are a number of factors you should consider as you make your decision on which home to choose:
Price – If both the homes you are considering are in your desired price range, then cost shouldn’t be the ultimate deciding factor. Many homebuyers, however, find themselves choosing between a home that fits well within their budget and one that is more of a stretch. Remember, if you are committing to a mortgage payment for the next 15 or 30 years, then a lower-priced house and payment may improve your standard of living in the long run.
Neighborhood – There are a number of things you can change about a house, but the location is not one of them. You should do your homework and research the area and neighborhoods you are considering, especially if the two homes you are considering are in different areas. Look around to see how well your prospective neighbors maintain their houses and yards. You should also consider your commute to work and how far from home you will have to travel to reach shopping, restaurants, schools, etc. Also, consider the homeowners association for each neighborhood, if one exists.
Schools – If you currently have kids in the Gwinnett County school district, then the school zone you are moving to might be your most important deciding factor. It is possible that the two homes you are choosing from may be associated with different schools. Research the reputations of the elementary, middle, and high schools in both areas.
Even if kids aren’t currently a part of your life, take into consideration that you may end up having kids and starting a family in this house. Another positive about being in a better school district is that they tend to attract better neighbors and home values, so you may find that schools are worth researching even if children aren’t in your future plans.
Condition – Don’t be too quick to overlook or minimize potential issues with a home just because you have an emotional attachment. For instance, if one home is move-in ready and the other has potential but needs a lot of work, then you may decide that the one in better condition is the right choice. Once you make your decision, it’s always a good idea to have the home inspected so that you can find out if there are any hidden problems.
Appreciation – Your real estate agent will be your source of knowledge about the investment potential of each home. Ask your agent to do research on home sales in each neighborhood over the last few years. You may find that one area is appreciating much faster than the other, in which case it will be easy to figure out which home will be the better investment.
Crime – Searching the Internet to find out crime statistics for any neighborhood is simple. You can also visit the local police station and talk to someone there about the appeal, or lack thereof, of a certain area. Even if violent crime isn’t an issue, high rates of vandalism or theft could be enough to sway you toward one home over the other.
Downsides – Sit down and make a list of all the pros and cons of both homes. By making a list of things you do and don’t like, you may realize that one house is more appealing than the other. Remember to rank the downsides by how serious they are – for instance, a mold problem in one house probably trumps a dated kitchen in the other.
When it’s all said and done, your decision will come down to trusting your gut. Although the situation may seem difficult, this is a good problem to have, and you are lucky to have it. Choose the home that appeals the most to you, no matter how small. Your Real Estate Agent is there to help guide you through this process. Be sure to lean on them for market data and knowledge of the local area. Call (678) 985-1234 to speak with The Stadler Group and start packing!