I don’t think I could have put this any better myself. This is an older article, but the same rules apply today. There is a great opportunity to get into the real estate market if you think you’d ever like to own your own home. Interest rates are incredibly low and there are great deals out there to be had. Here’s the link to a story in the Wall Street Journal that spells out the benefits.
I read an interesting blog post some time ago about setting priorities when buying your first home. I couldn’t have said it more clear myself. There’s a great graphic used that is brilliant-I couldn’t have come up with a better way to explain it. Take a look at it here on the Get Rich Slowly blog.
The bottom line is that given the variables of location, price, and condition (or quality as the author, J.D. Roth calls it), you can only have two of them-unless of course you have unlimited funds. I see this every single day without fail. And, no matter how much money you have, the same rules apply. I have never worked with a buyer that didn’t have to give up something when they bought.
Of course, the mantra ‘Location, location, location’ is the most critical piece of the puzzle. However, location can be subjective. For instance, I typically don’t like busy streets, but a ‘busy-ish street’ in a great neighborhood with an architecturally significant property may work-so that means that the definition can change depending on a client’s needs. (Price + Condition = Location)
A fabulous house for a great price in a marginal location. (Location + Price = Condition)
As for condition, a house with a marginal floor plan or needing significant work in a great neighborhood may be worth taking the remodeling plunge after buying. (Location + Condition = Price)
Education on the part of your real estate agent will help you sort through the variables. You can search around the net, dream and rationalize, but the one on one connection with a knowledgeable real estate professional is the best way to make sure you get the best possible property for your money.