Do’s and Don’ts of Expectations for Your New House
So you, your spouse or both of you, receive orders to a new place. The first thing you do is make your “wishlist” for the new place. You come up with a budget, you start looking and suddenly you realize you doing the equivalent of wearing Alaskan winter clothes in Hawaii!
Don’t feel out of place! Start on the right foot by first figuring out what that “normal” is for that area. Remember even though technology has made the world “small” that real estate and its best practices are local.
Here’s 5 Ways to Prevent From Making Outside Mistakes
First – Ask What Amenities are Standard To the Area?
I am a born and raised East Coaster. So while California was my 4th duty station I still felt like an idiot. It was the land of no fireplaces (newer construction) or gas in the older homes, single story, sprinklers and mandatory fenced in backyards. Back east other amenities like FROG (finished room over garage), fences extra, with second stories and no irrigation systems were normal. So I found myself showing up with snow ski clothes for water skiing. This taught me to ask what is normal and then what is a premium. This way my wish list was local.
Second – Schools
I always buy in certain school areas because they are districted. Some areas don’t practice districts so its important to know if that should be a primary concern. You would hate to buy in a certain area for the schools only to find its open district.
Third – Price Range
EVERY area is local to that area. I grew up outside of DC in a pricey neighborhood where half a million or slightly more was “normal”. Size wise it was actually pretty small. When we move to Texas I was astonished to see that a DC sized mansion was half the size of my parents home in Texas. It was MIND boggling. The other day someone told me their budget was $800 for Virginia Beach. Lets just say I wouldn’t step foot in that type of apartment. When I asked if they checked their BAH or even looked at local prices? Nope, hadn’t even checked. They had picked out a number before checking the area.
Look at prices LOCALLY and then determine your budget! While we ALL want a great deal, you often get what you pay for; cheap houses have catches.
Fourth- How Quickly Do Houses Move
In some areas you will have 30 houses to choose from (that was us in Virginia Beach) and others people will LITERALLY show up with deposit and houses disappear. So ask around and figure out the market, assume people do not hold, and be prepared. If you see your DREAM house don’t sit on it. If it is a competitive market than you need to be competitive back. So be prepared by coming prepared.
Fifth- Be Realistic So You Don’t Start off On the Wrong Foot
This ties into the previous point, know the market and how to act. If it is super competitive, don’t try to negotiate every little point, try to get the pet fee lowered, or start off on the wrong foot. You want to sell YOURSELF to the landlord. Therefore you need to surround yourself with advisors who can let you know the climate so you get the best deal for yourself, while not losing every deal because one is overly demanding.
The biggest take away you from this article is to remember you have no idea WHAT the new areas is going to be like. Going in with a “set” price or other previously conceived notions will at best slightly set you back and at worst mean you are spending weeks in a hotel or getting a horrible house. Therefore learn the area, find a trusted advisor or advisors, and leave behind what you came from. Each real estate market is different and unique.
So keep an open mind when you are looking for a house. A little information searching before hand can really help you find the perfect house!0