Shopping for real estate is often a stressful experience for new buyers, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone has a list of things they want when finding a new home. Whether buying or renting, you can make any place your dream home if you maximize the potential of the property.

Know What You Want

When you start your search, it always feels optimistic. You may feel that you could live just about anywhere as the options open. Some buyers and renters make the mistake of choosing a place just because the option is there, only to find out later that they really didn’t think things through. It is important to know what you want and how to have it before you start your search.

An important part of your search is knowing what to look for. Create a checklist that makes your search easier and categorizes your wish-list by order of importance. In the important section, it would be wise to consider things like location, size, and age of the home. For custom desires, the list would include more idealistic factors like flooring, paint, and appliances.

Be Willing to Compromise

Some say that compromise is the key to a happy life. That doesn’t mean you have to give up the things that are important to you when choosing a home. A home is a big decision, so there will naturally be some things you are not willing to settle for. You may not find everything on your list, but if you’re willing to let go of some of the shallow details, you may end your search sooner. Review your checklist by order of importance and select the things you are not willing to sacrifice in your search.

Learn to DIY

Everyone has their own idea of what makes a happy home. For you, it may be a space with an open concept, but the person who owned the place before you may feel happiness is found in a closed-off kitchen area. Some things are an easy fix. It isn’t hard to knock out a wall to open some space so your favorite space could be a project away.

Instead of looking at the space for what it is, look at what it could be. Is there a fireplace that could be closed off? Do you see walk-in closet where the previous owners saw an office? Can you picture the den with hardwood floors instead of that weird, shaggy carpet? Some home-buyers have turned down a place just because it wasn’t painted the “right” color. Don’t let a simple DIY project stand in your way of an otherwise perfect place.

It may not be possible to meet every desire you have when it comes to real estate, but if you’re willing to think outside of the box and put a little extra work into it, you can get pretty close. With your checklist in hand, an open mind and a stroke of creativity, your happy home may be a lot closer than you think.

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