Question Details

Judith, Both Buyer and Seller in Orlando, FL

We are in the process of trying to buy a house; though we have looked at many, we are unable to decide.

Asked by Judith, Orlando, FL Thu Nov 13, 2008

We seem to be able to find houses we like,but not in a neighborhood we like, or we find a community we like, but we don't like the builder or floorplans. Since we have a budget, going out and building a custom home is out of our price range. So should we settle for the community we like or the house?

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9
Hi Judith,
Wait another year to buy, save another 20%. But if you are in a hurry to buy, maybe you can get one of these 5,845 foreclosures listed in Orlando, and they may be in your budget--so you don't need to choose. Good Luck
http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/Orlando,FL/foreclosure_lt/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Judith,

You are definitely not alone in this situation. A large part of the problem may be related to "information overload." This is something tha happens frequently when agents deal with potential buyers. We find the following process is helpful in clearing the way to make a decision.

This process is simple and will reacquaint you with your priorities.

It requires three sheets of paper. On the top of one write "features our home MUST have" on the second write features we would like our home to have but can live without," and on the top of the third write "Features we DO NOT want our home to have."

Since you have been looking at property, this process should be relatively easy. Important to note is, these lists are not cast in stone and can easily be changed at your desgression. Once you have generated your check lists, it is important to refer to them frequently. We find that buyers often fall victem to previewing property but o so without a purpose.

Each home you preview should be viewed through the eyes of your newly established criteria. Some people have developed a grid and use a check list when previewing homes. This will also help you to recall the characteristics of a home after you have seen dozens.

Try also to put some fun back into the buying process by building somehing special into a day filled with previewing homes. Go to a movie, get ice cream, go shopping, find a beautiful view, visit a friend in the hospital, etc. Finding a way to remove the pressure, could make things happen. But above all, have fun......

Best wishes,
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saunders & Company
billeckler@michaelsaunders.com
941-408-5363
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Look at what you can change vs. what you can't. You don't want to get into the house and feel like you've "settled" because everytime something happens (maintenance is part of homeownership) you'll be miserable, thinking you've been short changed.

Start with the area. You can't change that. Look at the house & maybe knocking out a wall, painting the rooms, adding an island, etc... will make the choice easier.

You won't find EXACTLY what you looking for, even if you build. After we built our house, I thought of 50 things, I wish we would of added. But, putting your personal touch on it can make a world of difference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
There are several things that need to be determined in order to give a responsible answer to this question. For example ~ What is the reason for your move? If it is not crucial that you move today, keep your eyes open, watch for houses to go on the market in areas that you do like. If you are working with an agent, which you should be, let them know what areas and houses you are interested in. They will be able to let you know when new homes hit the market or they could canvas those areas and see if any of the current owners are thinking of moving. Some homeowners only listen to the negative media reports about home sales and don't list their homes even though they would like to move to a larger, small or more affordable home. If they knew that there was someone, like yourself, that was looking for a home like theirs they might make a move now. It is a wonderful time to buy.
You used the word "settle" in your question. In many instances, the purchase of a home is the largest purchase that a person makes. I would never suggest "settling". Just sit down with a good Realtor and figure out what is most important to you. And be realistic!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
Choose by community first, I believe location is of most importance that works best for your family regarding schools, work, and price range. Then, each of you involved in the decision making process, make a list of your needs in a home in order of importance and then compare and cross off (realizing each of you will have to make concessions)! Also, try to choose a floor plan that is functional not only for you, but for most people which will help you with resale in the future! Good luck and have fun shopping! If you need help finding a Realtor, let me know!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
It is important to remain focused on what your needs are; ie financial, nieghborhood, how does the nieghborhood or community contribute to your needs, location to work, school, family and friends, church and entertainment. Look at the construction of the homes; will the the home you choose require major structural repairs in the future. How about heating costs, maintenance costs. I think community is very important. You can also inquire with your city 5 year plan, what changes will occur in your community. If the floor plan does not work, can you alter the design? If Community is most important, be patient until you locate a home that will work for you. If you need to move outside your desired community, what are the sacrifices you will have to make in life and how will that move impact your family.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
You would benefit by finding a local realtor to represent you as your buyer's agent. Your agent could then show you all of the choices available to you, help you understand the differences and, if nothing was for sale right now that suits you, could call you when something does become available.
Web Reference: http://www.mariatmorton.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
I guess everything in life is making choices and priorize your choices :)
maybe you need to make some sacrifices and accept that you can't have everything in life ....maybe when you win a lottery :)

as for myself, I would balance my needs in a home purchase. For example, I would buy a nice ready-to-move-in house (at least 2 levels) with at least 4+ bedrooms and 2+ baths and 1 or 2 car garage in a nice neighboorhood in Springfield or in Fairfax County for $300K-$325K. But it is very difficult to get that type of house in a good location and respectable neighboorhood for that price range and it is not so hard in a not so good neighboorhood.

So I changed my priorities and got a house with the floor plan I want and also in a good quiet neighboorhood except for no garage ....but with nice & fully finished basement for 301K :) with a nice sizable flat lot. And I can always add a car garage later on..... :)
At Costco or HomeDepot, I can add a do-it-yourself car garage or add-on shed/room/studio for less than 5K or 7K. Price has been already approved 60 days ago and hopefully I should be able to close in a month or two...with 2 lenders so this takes time......

Or maybe you should go for a fixer upper with a desirable floor plan and neighborhood in your price range and do some work yourself or hire someone (good) to do cheap for you. :)

my 2c worth!

Got to get back to work,.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
I believe it depends on your top priorities, the home needs compared to the neighborhood needs, for example, do you have children, need good schools, save environment ect. or do you need the house space and functionality?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
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