Home Buyer Hopes: Realistic or Not?
The old song from my growing-up years told of an ant that thought it could move a rubber tree plant. Because it had “high hopes, high apple pie in the sky hopes,” it kept on pushing on the plant. Against all odds, the ant finally succeeded!
The song’s message: Persevere against seemingly impossible odds; hang in there in difficult times. It was about having high expectations about what can happen when we refuse to let go of our dreams.
In life, having high hopes – believing that life can and should be better for us and for our families is important. We may or may not achieve all we desire, but not trying to improve our lot generally leads to failure.
As people look at buying homes or real estate in the Austin, Texas area, their dreams are often very high. They often compare prices here with prices in areas with which they are more familiar. Some buyers, thus, have expectations—high hopes—that are out of their reach.
An example: A buyer wants a newer 2,000 square foot minimum, single-story home on at least one half acre in SW Austin. Can that home be found? It can, but this buyer wants to pay, and can only afford to pay, $175,000 for it. I, and most Realtors®, would conclude that the buyer had unrealistic expectations. His chances of being able find a seller willing to part with such a home for that price are quite small! (A search of homes for sale in MLS areas SWE and SWW on 5/31/08 yielded 6 homes that met all but the price criterion. The least expensive home available was priced at $390,000.)
So, is the buyer wrong to dream? No, but if he continues to try to find that home for that price in that area, he will be disappointed. He will discover that the rubber tree plant will not move no matter how firmly he clings to that dream. He will find that his unrealistic expectations will become unrealized expectations.
What should and can the buyer do? He may give up and decide not to try any further to find his dream home. He may get frustrated with his real estate agent for not being able to find him the home that he wants to buy.
Or, he can adjust his home-search plan. He can see what is available in other locations around Austin. (Another search of homes available in the Austin area MLS showed 6 homes that met all of the criteria named above, including the upper limit of $175,000 for the price. These homes were located in outlying areas like Manor, Georgetown, Cedar Creek and Del Valle.) The buyer can also fine-tune his other home-search criteria (home size, lot size, for example).
Clearly, my example is stretched for the sake of making a point. But, home buyers need to be realistic in what they reach for … so they can realize their dream of owning a home.
Find more home-buying helps at Heart of Austin Homes.
Jim Gilbert, REALTOR, Heart of Austin Homes
Licensed (#0536692) to sell Real Estate in the State of Texas