Market Overview

5 Qualities To Look For In A Dream House

5 Qualities To Look For In A Dream House

Finding your dream home is a lot like finding the perfect spouse. It’s a good idea to look a little above your league.

With a house, you can always try negotiating an affordable deal before settling for less.

You get to decide how much each quality in your dream house is worth and what to offer for the entire package. You’ll most likely get a counteroffer from the seller, but the worst that can happen is your offer is rejected and you have to keep looking for your dream house. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Your Castle Or Your Nightmare?

One person's castle is another’s nightmare. You may love the bright lights of a 24-hour city, but the person next to you may want a small town where the sidewalks roll up before 8 p.m. every night.

On the other hand, there are common features in the interior of many houses that the majority of people find highly appealing. Generally, a house with an open floor plan and a well-appointed kitchen are near the top of most people’s preferences. Still, your dream kitchen might not need much more than ample counter space with a refrigerator and utensils within easy reach.

A gourmet cook may insist on a professional countertop grill and two full-size ovens. 

What To Offer For Your Dream House

You don’t want to get into a bidding war — even for your dream house. There are several bidding tricks that improve your chances, and the answer isn't always more money.

One seldom-used technique is bidding in odd increments. If you’re willing to pay full price for your dream house, make it a full price offer plus $200. That’s not enough to break your budget, but it will grab the seller’s attention if they have two other full-price offers.

And if you can’t resist bidding higher, don’t bid in $5,000 increments. Instead, stay slightly ahead of the competition with increments of $5,200.

The offer might have absolutely nothing to do with money. For many people, time is more important than money.

Most bidders will place 24, 48 or 72-hour time limits on offers. When sellers are looking at multiple offers, time limits become annoying.

Instead, give the seller a week or 10 days to respond. Keep the pressure off. Eliminate another common contingency for a fast closing and you very well might have a lower-cost but winning offer.

Consider Everything, Then Consider It Again

Like most things in life, you know it when you see it. That definitely applies to your dream house. Make a list of everything you’ve loved and everything you’ve not loved in every house you’ve ever lived in. 

Put the list aside for a few days before coming back to it. Consider having someone you trust go over it with you for more ideas you haven’t considered.

In the end, it’s not only about specific features. The overall design and how different features work together are just as important. But you’ll almost certainly have a list of “must have features” that determine exactly what to offer: 

  • The interior
  • The exterior
  • The neighborhood
  • The retail and amenities
  • The work commute

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