In Search of the Perfect Home

I recently completed an informal survey of a group of realtors who have been in the business from one to 30 years asking them this question: “Is there a perfect house?” Their answer: A resounding “no!” Perhaps the best response from the group was that “a perfect house is in the eye of the beholder.”

I bring up this issue because I’m always amazed when home buyers step into an agent’s car the first day of looking for a new home and utter the words, “Let’s go find my perfect house.” Talk about setting everyone up for a fall. Not wanting to dash anyone’s hopes, most realtors find a nice way to say there is no perfect house, so maybe we should focus on your highest priorities instead.

Even folks who build their own custom home, supposedly the house of their dreams, usually find that the end result falls short. They design and plan every detail, yet it’s virtually impossible to anticipate everything you want until you’re actually living in the house. Is spending more money the answer? Nope. Even multimillion-dollar homes are not perfect 10s.

Denver Realtor Morey Ferguson says the situation can be even more complicated when buyers are from out of town. For example, people coming from Tennessee struggle to understand why everything is so expensive in Colorado, while people coming from California are surprised at the amount of home you can buy for the money.

So what’s the home buyer take-away? Be realistic with your expectations, and realize your needs may change. When my wife I bought our first home, it had 90 percent of what we were looking for at the time. We didn’t have kids then, so a spacious garage and a big backyard didn’t top our list. Yet now, two kids later, a three-car garage and lots of backyard play space sound pretty good.

The perfect house? I have to agree with my surveyed colleagues. If you find a home that meets 85 percent or more of your needs, you’ve done well.

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