Buying A Home: Short-Term Situation, Long-Term Decision

Are you looking to move? Are you starting to feel desperate because you can’t find a property? If you are like a lot of buyers, you may be frustrated over the tight inventory and the red hot competition. You may be so desperate that you are starting to think about making compromises.

Any property is better than no property at all, right? Not so fast. This current market will not last forever. However, whatever property you buy, will likely be your home for quite some time. Buying the wrong property is not better than buying no property at all.

First, Think of the Long-Term

Here’s what I tell my clients: “Don’t make a long-term decision based on a short-term circumstance.” Your current circumstances are just that — short-term. Yes, if you can find something that meets your basic requirements, there may be no better time to buy than now. Interest rates are great, so if you find a property that meets your needs, go for it. Move forward. But, do not get so caught up in the buying frenzy that you lose sight of your core housing needs. Do not compromise when it comes to your absolutely must-haves. Certainly, it might make sense to give up some of your peripheral wants to secure a property in today’s hot market. There are certain compromises that are worth making to make your dream of homeownership come true. Most buyers have to make compromises when it comes to their buying decisions.

master bathroom in hawaii home

(Hawai’i Life)

Determine Your Needs vs. Wants

Perhaps you can settle for a three-bedroom instead of a four-bedroom? Do you really need an island in the kitchen? Is the pool an absolute must? Maybe that a/c that you think is such a must is something you can live without for now and install later? We all know that there are features in a home that we would like, but that we can live without. But, when it comes to your lifestyle, be sure that you don’t compromise on those things that will make a difference in your overall well-being.

So, here’s what I recommend. Sit down and think about your daily lives. Your family and lifestyle. Consider the things that are most important to you, like location. Convenience. Comfort. Think in terms of benefits instead of features. What is the benefit I am looking for in a property? For example, I have Buyer clients who have three small children. They are flexible and willing to settle for less than their ideal home. But, a yard is a must. Those little ones need to play. The yard is a feature, but the benefit is health. Mom’s mental health and the children’s physical health. So, even though my clients are feeling a bit desperate, they know (and I know) that a house without a yard is not a consideration. Even if they have to wait to buy and rent for a while, they will.

home with pool in hawaii

(Hawai’i Life)

Get Clear on Your Priorities

Buying a home that meets your needs is a must. It doesn’t have to be the home of your dreams, but it absolutely must not be the wrong property. Granted, interest rates may go up. Prices too. But, buying a home that just doesn’t fit is a short-term decision you do not want to make. So, take a breath, get clear on your priorities, be willing to make some compromises, but do not compromise on those things that are essential to your well-being and the well-being of those you love.


Cherie Tsukamoto is a BIC, R, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, SRES, MRP with Hawai'i Life. You can email her at [email protected].

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