"When Have You Seen Enough Homes?"

By Thomas Ervin
Thomas Ervin is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist.
(Reprinted with permission from Author)

As we all know, a home purchase for most people is the single largest financial investment of their lives. As the price of homes continues to edge upward, buying a home takes on even greater significance.

One of the dilemmas facing a prospective buyer involves the number of homes that should be seen before making a final buying decision. Some people are not content until they have seen every home on the market in their price range.

How do you know when you have seen enough homes in order to make an offer on a certain home with the confidence that it is the right one for you? Basically, you want to accomplish two things:

It is difficult to make an informed buying decision until you have had the opportunity to view various homes and compare their prices. Home showings also help educate you as to the buying power you possess for the area you want. It is sometimes sobering to learn that you cannot buy as much home as you originally thought. After seeing a number of homes, it is not unusual for buyers to adjust their expectations of the home size and features they can afford. You may have to settle for a lesser home than you thought in order to get the location that is most desirable to you.

You will know when you have found the home that is right for you. This often happens when you drive up in front of the house or when you are just inside the front door. The right home not only has most of the features you want but it also appeals to you emotionally. No one else can tell you that a certain home is right for you. You usually have to sense it for yourself.

ADVICE: If you have a good grasp of local home values and have found a home that feels like the right home for you, don't look further. You really don't need to see every home on the market. As a matter of fact, too many home showings could even confuse you. It is also not unusual to find the right home after only two or three showings. There is no magic formula. Every buyer and each situation is different. Just rely on your own common sense.

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