Back to a Buyer's market (for the most part) and this is so appropriate!
If you are a Miami home buyer you know you can be picky, you can demand more and you have every right to be a pain, since this is YOUR market. If you have been looking for a while, you may find the search frustrating and never ending and may even wonder if you will ever buy a property. With the daily gloom of the media, you may have a tendency to forget what your goal is. You may even start doubting what it is that you really want. So here's what Rick and I recommend. (Yeah, we're giving you homework, but you will thank us for it....or not)
Sit down either by yourself or with your significant other and write a list.
Write down what it is that you want (not taking price into consideration yet). Number of bedrooms and baths, single-family or condo, square footage, location, size of property, layout, close to a particular school, gated neighborhood, remodeled or not, preferred finishes, charm/no charm, modern or traditional, pool/no pool.
Brainstorm away until you have everything down on paper. If you are making a purchasing decision with a significant other, we recommend that you consolidate your lists and come to a consensus on what is most important.
Then go ahead and organize those items in order of significance - please realize that it is almost impossible to find the perfect home with everything you want and it is essential to be flexible and let some of those "wants" go.
After you are done with the "real estate wants list", go back to your Realtor and discuss price - this will most likely be the only factor that has remained constant since you began, and you may notice that you will be able to afford more items on that list than when you began (so the search time is not all that bad).
Review Miami homes on the market that you have seen and make sure you are not discarding any good opportunities because you were not as "open minded". Go back and look at them again and make sure you are not missing a great deal that could turn out to be your dream home.
I will repeat again and again that buying real estate is an emotional process and looking at properties for an extended period of time can be draining and frustrating. By studying your needs and indentifying your goals, you may find yourself with a different outlook and willing to make a decision (even if the decision is to stop looking).
We work with real estate buyers on a daily basis that confuse wants with needs. This simple exercise helps them clear up their goals and look at properties with a different mindset.
Remember that your Miami Realtor is there to help you with your decision (even if it means knocking sense into you!) If the exercise doesn't work - call us and we'll make you a mojito to make up for your troubles!
*originally published on June 29th, 2008*