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Asked by LS, Dallas, TX Mon Jan 7, 2008

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Answers

32
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Mon Jan 7, 2008
i am NOT an advocate of "settling" when it comes to purchasing a home that you plan on living in for many years. Sometimes you need to take a break (a few weeks, a month?) and come back to it renewed and refreshed. If you have the luxury of time, don't push it. When you find the right home, it'll speak to you, and you'll know it.

Until then, take a deep breath, step back and relax a bit. Building a brand-new home brings it's own challenges.
2 votes
Karen Shrock…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sat Mar 8, 2008
After 50 homes, you should have an idea of what floor plans and features you like, what size lot, which communities, which school districts, and what location fits into your travel patterns. Your realtor should be able to take that information and focus in on the homes that meet those criteria.

I'm a big believer that you know it when you see it. You feel at home.

Enough is enough when you've found your home. You sound very hyped. Maybe you might want to chill a bit.
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Tue Feb 26, 2008
LS, may I suggest you look at homes you have totally ruled out? I once had a buyer look at too many homes than I care to mention. They kept refusing to go look at one particular street, and one day they were out, when to an open house at the exact house they kept refusing to go to and bought it. It was more than they wanted to spend, too.
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Wed Jan 9, 2008
Hi L.S.

The enough is only enough when YOU, as a buyer, feel you had enough of looking and are willing to settle for something less or something more expensive.

Otherwise, I will say that a house is one of the most important purchase you will ever make in your life (Not a Cliche, but truth). You should keep looking until you find the right one,

Remember, as Realtors, we say that you should treat a home as a long term investment, so you will have to be willing to live in that house for a long time - it has to fit your needs and wants.

The one thing you really want for your house is two living areas and sounds like you are having a very difficult time finding one; and you are restricted by your budget and the willingness (or not) for a fixer. So, if having 2 living areas is such a difficult task in the neighborhood you are looking at, do you think it may be possible for you to get a house with one extra bedroom and use that one bedroom as a living area? Perhaps some creative solutions? Just some thoughts to make it work

Sylvia
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Did you buy it from the agent who showed you 50 houses?
0 votes
LS, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Thanks to each of you for answering. Please note though- this question was posted 2 months ago- I have since found a house and closed. Thanks again though.
0 votes
Trish Bender, , Cypress, TX
Fri Mar 28, 2008
You need to write down what it is you want in a home, what you have to have, and what you do or do not really need. There may not be the perfect house out there for you. If you are not finding what you want in the homes you are looking for, what is it that you are missing? If you do not want to build what you want, you may have to settle for something that is close to what you want. You may love the house, but hate the yard and the opposite as well. Also, you may not be finding what you want in your price range. This happens a lot, if you are willing to spend a little bit more I bet you will find what you are looking for!

And lastly, I recommend looking at new model homes. This is a great way to Figure out exactly what you want!

I wish you luck in your home search!
0 votes
Erin Koskovi…, , Dallas, TX
Fri Mar 28, 2008
I think you might be looking in the wrong area. What part of town are you looking for? What price range are you looking in? Do you want a newer house or an older (well maintained) house? Where do you work and play? Do you have any pets? Do you need a yard? All of these are factors that can help determine your area and help you in your search.
0 votes
Hi, , Virginia
Tue Mar 25, 2008
it is a blessing in disguise
your gut is telling you something
listen to it
whats the hurry?
house prices not going up anytime soon
do you need 30 yrs of debt to feel happy?

anyways

good luck
0 votes
CJ Brasiel, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Mar 25, 2008
LS-

You topped my record of looking at 43 homes before I found the right one. It is not an easy task. There is a great article by David Keen in Hollywood, CA about the phases of home buying that my client's have gotten a laugh and a reality check in reading. I hope it helps you realize your feelings are not uncommon. Here is the link:

http://davidkean.prudentialcal.com/Content/Content.aspx?Cont…

When I work with first time buyers, many times I recognize a self generated pressure by the buyer to find the "perfect" house. Since it is one the biggest financial commitments the average person makes in their life time each of us wants to be able to feel good that we made the right choice. Sometimes that really makes it hard to find the right home.

Also, some times there is simply a bunch of "junk" on the market and it takes time for better choices to hit the market. Even though it is a buyer's market in most parts of the country, many of these sellers are "have to " sellers and folks that have good properties and don't have to sell are waiting. So you can see how the selection might be leaning toward the less desirable.

It is sometimes a good choice to simply take a break. If you have time, take the time to simply step back. Don't look at listings for a bit. It tends to be a pleasant surprise when you do get back on line and see "fresh " listings.

Good luck.
CJ
Web Reference:  http://www.TalkToCJ.com
0 votes
Kenneth Cox, Agent, Dallas, TX
Tue Mar 25, 2008
never just settle or you will regret 6 months down the line. Keep searching until you find the right property that fits your needs. If you are thinking of buying new construction, your timing couldn't be better. There are some unbelievable new construction opportunities in the Dallas Fort Worth Real Estate Market. If you would like to set up your own search, visit: http://www.buyandselldallas.com/mls

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your search, please contact us anytime and one of our agents would be happy to assist.

DFW Urban Realty
info@dfwurbanrealty.com
(214) 764-4124
http://www.dfwurbanrealty.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sat Mar 15, 2008
Bottom line is locate a home with GREAT bone structure then customize the interior they way you would like,

I rehab properties know what you mean, there is a vision seeing past either vacant homes, or sellers an their personal taste for home furnishings. It can be a full time job

I have seen allot of Dallas homes foreclosures 30% below market value if that can assist you making up your mind with that much equity and able to purchase customize for your personal taste
Contact our office or visit our website, we look forward to working with you !
Lynn
972-699-9111
911@lynn911.com
http://www.lynn911.com
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Home Ferret, , Plano, TX
Mon Mar 3, 2008
write down the best 5 things you HAVE to have.

Then go from there.
Web Reference:  http://www.homeferret.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Jan 29, 2008
A real estate agent is only as good as what you make them, an agent is only as good as they are based on how they interview you to find a property, all homes are built the same it depends on how you see the home after you move in then customize the house per your taste/style.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Steve Condur…, Agent, Nashville, TN
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Should you be using a buyers' broker, they are not listening!! Should you not be using a buyers broker, then consider it. You will usually find an experienced agent by going online to CRS.com. These guys are seasoned, well trained, and successful agents.
0 votes
Robert Bagwe…, , 97035
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Hey LS, Consider changing or reconsidering the type of home that you're looking for. Look at a few that are outside of what you initially think might be what you want. Maybe you'll have an epiphany and realize that it's something else that you actually wanted! (I've been there and done that one!)
0 votes
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
It sounds like burn out LS.

I'd say you're about half done because right now there are 108 homes for sale in Desoto, Duncanville and Cedar Hill with 3 beds, 2 baths, 2 car garage and 2 living areas priced up to 120K (got to leave some room for negotiating the price down).

Do not settle on a house just because you are tired of looking, take a break, turn off the email of homes (I know that it will be tempting to look). After 2-3 weeks, re-evaluate what you really want in a home, where you want to be and everything will be easier.
Web Reference:  http://www.sumnerrealty.com/
0 votes
Cory Kutin, , Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
L.S.

Make sure your agent explains how property taxes work with new construction. That is VERY important!
0 votes
LS, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Thanks Cory. I have a realtor and we are interested in areas South. (specifically Desoto, Cedar Hill, and Duncanville) Many of the homes for sale are unfortunately foreclosures and we have found many of them needing a little too much "TLC!"lol (that we can't afford. So, in short, we're looking for something move-in ready. The only "must have" on our list is 2 living areas which doesn't sound like it would be hard to find. What brings difficulty to this whole situation is I that I really don't want to exceed 110K. If I can find something I love, I'd be willing to go up 5K or so but I'm not so willing to pay more for somthing that will "make due" for me. The home we like was built by Centex or David Weekly (realtor doesn't know for sure), it's 1700 square feet with a very open floor plan and is move in ready. The bad part is- it advertises 2 living areas when there's truly one. They have an ackward space behind the fireplace (and separate from the open living/dining room) that they are calling a living area. Also, the backyard is about 12x12. It's listed for 114,900 and has been on the market for 3 months
0 votes
Cory Kutin, , Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Well, L.S. you have had some pretty good responses. Quite a few of them actually. My best advice to you would be to be certain that you are working with an agent who has your best interests in mind, and in their heart.

There is actually only one answer to your posted question.... "When is enough enough?" Enough is when you have found the house, negotiated the contract, sat down at the closing table, and received your keys. At that point, you have looked at enough homes.

Without knowing more about you, it is merely conjecture to give much advice. Dallas is incredibly interesting as a home selling/buying market and as a city in and of itself. You need to make a match in the area of town, housing style, price, REALTOR, and neighborhood 'feel'. What area of town are you looking? North Dallas? White Rock Lake area? Oak Cliff (actual hills in Dallas)?

My office is in Lakewood, but I work throughout the area. If I can help, just give me a call.
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Everyone is a little different. I've had people buy the first house they've seen and others want to see 100. Everyone is a little different. Could be the area you're looking in, could be the price range. Are you working with a realtor? Is there anything special that is turning you off of the homes you've seen or is it something unique with each home. If it is location sometimes I suggest people use google earth or some other mapping program to see what's around. That can keep you from wasting time. I also suggest you drive the neighborhoods first before looking inside if that is a factor. You might save some time that way as well. Using a realtor can help narrow the choices that you might not have though of or might not have access to if you are searching yourself. For example age, features, etc. Normally the searches we can be much more detailed than the public sites. Good luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes
LS, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Thanks Don and Tman. Tman-lol I didn't see all 50 in one day!lol Your story inspires me though and you're definitely right- I still have 48 more to go!

Don- thanks so much for your detailed response. I started with a list similar but your idea sounds like it will end in success and lord knows I'm ready to find a house that I like and pay the right price for it.
0 votes
Tman, , 30642
Mon Jan 7, 2008
You looked at 50 homes..??

So the question is, what did you do in the afternoon.?

Don't feel bad and don't get frustrated, it's a normal thing .. before this last house we looked at 98 homes, some were drive by's, some were: "gheeeez, who painted this place, a blind man.?"

Sometimes it a good thing to see where the sunsets in comparison to the rest of the house or to see those yapping dogs in the yard 3 doors away ..

There isn't one house we've ever owned that I didn't go to on a Saturday morning around 8am and just listen for 30 or 40 minutes --- basketballs.? car repairs.? fighting with the wife.? behemoth lawn mowers.? they didn't tell me they had 12 kids .... that would always make the difference between buy - and no buy.

50 houses.? .. you better get started, you have 48 more to go, this time take your time and have fun.!



Good luck.!
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Great answers so far. Let me throw a few other ideas into the mix:

First, it's interesting that you saw a house you really liked. Some people have--don't know what you'd call it--maybe a fear of making a choice, so they never, ever see a home that's right for them. So, good. You know that there are homes out there that will work well for you.

Second, if you haven't already done so, make up a list of things you want in/regarding your home. Make three categories: "Must Have," "Very Important to Have," and "Would be Nice to Have." In the "Must Have" category are things that, clearly, you must have. This list shouldn't be too long, because, as I'll mention in a moment, a lot of things are fixable. Next are the "Very Important to Haves." This is what turns an OK home into a desirable home for you. And, finally "Would be Nice to Haves" shouldn't make or break the deal--these are like icing on the cake.

Review the houses you've seen, as well as just thinking about what you need and want, and fill up these categories. Make sure you keep a copy, but also give one to your Realtor. Only visit the "Must Haves," and try to limit your viewings to those that have most of the elements on "Very Important to Have." Don't worry about the "Would be Nice to Have" category...at least not yet.

Now, remember that lots of things are fixable. OK: You must have a home with two bathrooms. Or do you? If you could add a second bath for $5,000, and could buy a 1-bath house that in every other way met your needs for $10,000 less, then maybe that 1-bath house should be on your list. So, you might move "2 bathrooms" from "Must Have" to "Very Important to Have." Do you demand a garage? Well, if it has a carport, you can probably convert it to a garage. And so on.

In a related area, one problem that many buyers understandably have is that they're not able to visualize the house in a different way. A surpising number of real estate agents aren't, either. That's why home staging has become so popular. Not only does it clean up and declutter, but it helps buyers imagine themselves in the house, and how they'd use certain rooms. I'm not sure what's turned you off with those 50 homes you've looked at, and I'm not trying to persuade you to settle for anything less than you want, but make sure you look beyond the current state of the house and imagine what reasonably you could do with it. Some homestagers are even getting into "virtual home staging," creating an interactive, 3-dimensional walk-through of homes, to let buyers imagine what it could look like. It's also easier and more economical than an actual staging.

Finally, if it'll help, consider enlarging the listing price parameters. If you're currently looking at houses in, say, the $120,000-$140,000 range, ask to see houses priced up to $150,000. I'm not suggesting you necessarily pay more...or that you pay any more than you're comfortable with. Put in an offer that works for you. So, if your absolute top amount that you can spend is $135,000 and you've been looking up to $140,000....okay, look at $150,000. Still, make those offers at what you'd be comfortable with--say $130,000? Or even less? Your odds of being successful may be less, and you won't win as many popularity contests with real estate agents, but you don't know what a seller will take unless you make an offer.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
David Hitchi…, , 75252
Mon Jan 7, 2008
LS,

Wow! That is a ton of looking, I dont know if you are using an agent or not, but I would suspect that your agent if you have one would narrow down your choices so that you are looking specifically for homes that meet your stringent criteria. Remember that this really comes down to a process of elimination. I ask my clients to rate the homes we view from a 1-10 with 10 being the best. After viewing we go through and eliminate anything that falls below a 7. I dont recommend looking at more than 10 max at a time. Best of luck to you.
0 votes
Michelle McC…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Absolutely! But I do agree that a lot of buyers feel that there is a "perfect" home out there, and trust me, even if you buy a brand new home, it won't be perfect. But I also agree that you should purchase a home that you are happy with. I've worked with some buyers for a year or more before they found a home they really really liked. Also, be sure to feel comfortable with your Realtor, especially one that doesn't make you feel rushed, that can make all the difference between a great experience and a not so great one.

-Michelle
0 votes
LS, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Thanks Jim- how ironic- we were thinking about no home being "perfect" at the same time. You and Elvis are reading my mind!lol
0 votes
LS, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Thanks to you also Michelle. I looked at about 50 with one realtor in which he set up auto. match and I chose which ones I wanted to visit. As a result of losing the opp. to purchase a home I really loved because of a crucial mistake he made in writing up an offer, I am now using a different realtor. I have gone out with her once......she only showed me 5 homes and I think she chose those after I browsed through listings she sent......I liked one but wasn't ecstatic about it. (especially since is 5K more than the other home and substantially smaller by 700 square feet) She was really nice but I kinda felt like she wanted me to make up my mind already.......I think I need to see more and hope this isn't gone......then I feel like I wouldn't be hurt if this one is gone- so that tells me another thing- I'm not completely in love with it. (and I know my first home won't be perfect but it needs to excite me especially for the price!lol)
0 votes
Jim Welden, Agent, Greenwood Village, CO
Mon Jan 7, 2008
LS - I agree with Elv!s - it is too big a purchase and you need to look forward to coming home - if you have to be out of your current residence, I would even advocate a double move rather than settling for something less than what you are looking for - by the same token, no home is ever perfect - even a custom home will have issues you wished you had done differently after you have lived in it a little bit - Elvis is right - especially this time of year, take a break if you can and in a few weeks there will probably be lots of new listings - good luck in your search!
0 votes
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Mon Jan 7, 2008
that' what I'm here for ma'am (tipping my hat and riding off into the sunset).
0 votes
LS, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Thanks Elvis. I appreciate your help.
0 votes
Michelle McC…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jan 7, 2008
Hi LS, have you been looking at all those homes with the same Realtor, or just calling on signs and meeting with all the listing agents? Also, if you are working with a Realtor, is he/she picking out the homes for you? Or are you finding homes online that you in turn go look at? All of these variables may play a part in you not seeing the correct homes.

I am an Accredited Buyers Agent, so I have experience working with mostly buyers. Feel free to contact me at michellehackney@ebby.com.

Have a great day!

Michelle Hackney
Ebby Halliday
2828 Routh St, Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75201
214.686.0833
0 votes
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