When someone decides to buy a home, they often enter that process with an idea of what they want based upon budget and personal taste. In many cases, people even see friends buy homes and say to themselves, “I want that!” Conformity is big in real estate. Trends will always change (think shag carpet), but when something is in style at the moment, buyers want it. For example, the last 10-year trend of white kitchen cabinets, dark stained floors, and gray tones - not too many dare to be different.
One of my recent experiences taught me the importance of staying open minded as a buyer. My clients, in search of a single-family home (three bedrooms min, outdoor space, and good schools for their future children), found inventory challenging due to COVID-19. Just when they considered pausing the search, a condo popped on the market which caught their eye.
Although the condo was a very large (3,000 square foot, duplex-up), the couple was not originally looking at condos and expectations were low. However, this place was different and as soon as they walked in, they felt it. The space was unique and lived large. In fact, it was far more spacious than most of the single-family homes we saw. High-end craftsmanship included built-in shelving, ornate detailing, unique windows, and vaulted ceilings. And, that’s all not to mention the home’s three large outdoor spaces (including a private rooftop deck with top-notch skyline views). Needless to say, this was the one. In the end, my clients won a multiple offer bid for the home and love their new digs.
The lesson here? Searching for real estate is a process of elimination, not selection. Keep your priorities, but also be willing to compromise on your initial list at least enough to experience alternatives. In this case, a condo happened to live larger than a single-family home with current inventory, and based upon the couple’s price range. Know “what” you want, but also consider “why” you want it and whether alternatives might offer that same utility. You might surprise yourself!