Finding a home in Tampa you love is a lot like falling in love. Do it right, and you’ll be happy for years to come.
Be Realistic About Your Budget
Much like the date that tries to impress you with the fancy dinner he can’t really afford, buying a house you can’t afford to take care of leaves you with a queasy feeling in your stomach. Just because you qualify for a certain amount of house doesn’t mean that’s what you should buy.
Consider the maintenance costs for the lawn, sprinkler system, security features, and other basic upkeep. Don’t forget to factor in when you’ll need to replace the roof or air conditioner. When you buy a home that you can barely afford, you won’t have the cash you need when things break or problems come up.
Do Your Research About the Area
If you’ll Google someone after (or before) the first date, make sure you’ll do at least that much when you find a home you like. Learn as much as you can about the neighborhood. Are there things to do? Is crime an issue? How close is shopping, dining, or where you work? When you have kids, this is even more important. How good are the public schools? Are there charter or private schools nearby?
These are the things that can impact how happy you are in your home more than square footage and floor plans.
Decide How Much Work You Want to Do
All relationships require work, but just as with a love interest, you shouldn’t have to rebuild your house from the ground up to love it. A little bit of sweat equity isn’t bad, especially if you can see that the bones of the home are great but it just needs some love to really shine. On the other hand, if you know you’re hopeless with a hammer or a paint brush, look for a home that doesn’t need quite as much love when you move in.
There is no right answer on this one. You have to decide what you’re willing to do, what you can afford to do, and what will make you happiest. The decision between the fixer upper and a nearly-new home isn’t much different than choosing between the guy who’s rough around the edges and the one who’s already got a successful career. Both are great, but only one is right for you.
Pay Attention to the Problem Areas
When we first meet someone we like, we’re willing to overlook a lot of flaws like the way they change the channels every few minutes or how they say certain words. You might be inclined to do that with a house you adore, especially when the home inspection comes back with a list of problems.
Don’t ignore these details. The things that endear you about a person today might make you question them tomorrow. The same is true with a home. You told yourself the roof with a small problem was no big deal until you have to replace the entire thing after your living room floods. You really might need that 3rd bedroom. It’s not the house’s fault that you’re unhappy.
Walk Away When Things Aren’t Right
Good relationships - with your new love or the home of your dreams - require work, care, and commitment. Eventually, though, you might have to walk away. The right home IS out there for you, it just may take a little longer than you thought to find it. You might have to look past a few flaws to see the gem. But in the end, by sticking to what you want and need, you can find the home (and maybe the person) of your dreams.
We can help you find a Tampa Bay home to LOVE any time of year.