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The home buying process usually involves a list of “must-have” items in your new home and some items that you would really like to have but that are ultimately negotiable. It is common to start the process thinking this list is set and stone and to become frustrated as you shop around and discover that it can be nearly impossible to find the perfect house that has everything you want, located where you want and for the price that you want. At the end of the day, price is the one area that will most likely have the least wiggle room. It’s important to stay within your budget so that you can continue to live comfortably once you are in your new home.
Realtor.com has some good categories in which to think about compromise. Know that you don’t have to give up everything you’re looking for but being flexible on some “must haves” will open up more possibilities for finding a home that has everything else you’re looking for. NJ Realtor® Dana Gonzalez suggests the following tip for achieving balance: “Imagine a triangle with price, location, and size/style/upgrades at each point. In most cases, you will have to be ready to give up on one of those three. Expect to compromise. If you get 80% of what you want, you're lucky.”
Here are five concessions to consider during your search:
This can be a particularly applicable compromise to consider in the Charleston area. The closer you get to the peninsula and beaches, the higher the prices are. If you’re willing to consider adding a few more miles on your commute, you’re likely to find a lot more house for your money. And while you might not end up in the location you had first imagined yourself living, you’re likely to find some thriving communities and excellent school districts that are just a short trip into the heart of town.
#2: Square Footage
Sometimes you might not need as much square footage as you initially had in mind. And sometimes less square footage allow you to stay within your budget in a nicer area. Consider cutting some space that you might easily live without, such as a guest room, play room or formal dining room. Many new construction homes have great flex-space options so consider options like a loft that could double up as a space for guests and play area in lieu of an additional bedroom. This being said, do think ahead for any changes in family size that might be in the foreseeable future, it’s important to plan ahead space-wise for future needs as well as your current situation.
#3 Yard Size:
Most new construction communities have pretty standard yard sizes within the neighborhood often with several exceptions. Those exceptions tend to come with a sometimes steep lot premium that will ultimately increase the over-all price you’re paying for your home. Consider potentially being happy with a smaller yard and take advantage of your neighborhood’s green space. Many developers throughout the Charleston area include ample green space, parks, playgrounds and trail systems amongst their amenities.
Not all new homes come standard with a two-car garage providing direct entry into the home. In the Charleston area you will find an array of garage options from single-car detached garages with alley entrance to three- and four- car garages that can be built to order in a few neighborhoods. Think about your garage needs before you begin looking and have a plan as to what extra space needs you might have for storage, etc. if the home you fall in love with has less garage space than what you’d hoped for. It could be a great opportunity to reduce clutter as you move to!
#5: Specific architecture
The Lowcountry is home to distinct and charming architecture from Charleston single-style homes to antebellum mansions, to traditional homes flanked with graciously-sweeping front porches. The new construction scene has a great variety of choices and keep in mind that you mind be able find a home complimented by design elements reflecting to a particular style you like without being constructed entirely in that style.
The good news is that willingness to make some changes in your choices can result in a great outcome, on budget. Try to keep an open mind and you might find a new home you didn’t even know you were dreaming of!
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