Why is it so difficult to buy the perfect house?

perfect house

The perfect house does not exist, but the near perfect house does

I am primarily a buyer’s agent. Most of what I do involves working with homebuyers. Talking, blogging and now podcasting about neighbourhoods, and schools, local events, houses and homes is what I do. I list homes too, but the majority of my time is spent focussing on the needs of home buyers.

Selling homes is easy. Buying homes is harder.

I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts yesterday, the “You are not so smart” podcast. It was discussing the Dunning-Kruger Effect, also known as the American Idol Effect. Essentially it says that we are unaware that we lack the skill to tell how unskilled and unaware we are. We are overconfident, and under-competent. We think we know what we are doing, but really, we make a lot of mistakes and don’t know that we are making them.

I know that home buyers come into the game with a lot of preconceived notions about how the home buying process works. Some of the information is gleaned from TV shows, and third party anecdotal evidence. But much of it is outdated or just plain wrong. Buying a great home is a marathon, not a sprint. Finding it will be difficult. The negotiations won’t likely go like you think they will and compromises will have to be made. Essentially, as a homebuyer you are not in control and nor should you be.

If it is any consolation, as a homebuyer, you have more control over the process than most home sellers do. Home sellers have to wait for the business to come to them. (This year so far, that is a short wait.)


It’s a big machine

There is no normal with real estate. The market is always changing and transmogrifying itself. It is like a giant food factory where cucumbers are being turned into pickles, where sides of beef are being processed into cuts of meat, where bread is being baked and vegetables pureed. There is a lot going on.

Well, it is nothing like that really, but there is a lot going on. It is not static. And, you as the novice home buyer have just come in the side door.


Buying the perfect house

There is no ‘perfect house’. Even if you build one yourself, there is going to be something that you did wrong, something that you missed, should have added but overlooked. Like the factory analogy above (too many moving parts), with houses there are just too many components to houses, elements to the land and ingredients that need to be mixed perfectly to produce the perfect house.

And then there is personal taste.

And then there is fashion and other trends to consider.

There are good houses and there are great houses but there aren’t any perfect houses. If you can get 80% perfect or 85% awesome or 90% fabulous then you should be satisfied.


Time is not on your side

Sometimes you don’t have enough time to buy a near perfect house and you have to settle for a pretty good house instead. Sometimes people start too late in their home search. Sometimes you have too much time and no urgency to decide, and you let a really good house, a house that only comes up once a year, slip away, disappear into the fog.

You can’t time the real estate market either. A great house might be listed in August, but you are on vacation in August, or at your sister’s wedding. Sometimes that one weekend you are not looking a great house comes up and is sold. Bam. Gone.


The competition is great

Another obstacle, not to finding the perfect house, but buying the near perfect house is other people. There are lots of other buyers out there looking for exactly what you are looking for. They want a modern house with an open concept layout. Walk in closet and ensuite bathroom, a walkout basement and backing on to green space in a quiet neighbourhood with a good school, near shopping. When that house comes up, other people are going to be your biggest obstacle. They want it too, maybe more than you.


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Buying the near perfect house is not impossible. There will be challenges. I’m ready to get started. You should be too. Send me an email. Think of it like the beginning of a great adventure.

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