Are You a Buyer Who Wants to See Homes Outside Your Price Range?

Is it smart to look at homes outside your price range? At first blush, sometimes buyers think, oh, what can it hurt? Maybe the homes are overpriced and the owners will eventually lower the price to my price range? Or, maybe the seller is severally distressed and needs an immediate sale so she will take less.

Looking at homes outside your price range is likely to do one of three things. All three of them can be damaging.

1) You may find yourself falling in love with a home that is so far out of your price range you’ll do practically anything, liquidate any asset, to possess it. When emotions run away with you, that’s how people often end up in financial trouble.

2) You could fall into a great pit of depression. Quite logically, you may ascertain this is not a property you can afford, maybe not ever, and that makes you sad. It’s the opposite reaction you expected. There is little joy in drooling over a commodity you cannot afford as all it does it elevate your expectations to a level you might never achieve. And that’s a terribly negative place to be.

3) You could lose out on an opportunity that is well within your price range because you are spending too much time looking at homes outside your price range. When that window of opportunity opens, you’re already behind closed doors elsewhere. And that’s a shame.

It truly makes more logical sense to look at homes within a range you can afford to buy. Let’s say you are preapproved for $525,000 and want to buy a modest home in the leafy Sacramento neighborhood, Land Park. The first thing I would tell you is look somewhere else or raise your price point. Many of the homes for sale in that price range are near noise, some other detriment or incredibly small.

You could instead look at Southside Park, which is a perfectly nice neighborhood in the same ZIP code as Land Park but it is not Land Park. It is more urban, like Midtown. I would also encourage you to check out 2214 Davini Lane near Southside Park. It is a tri-level built in 2007, which features all the bells and whistles. For sale at $489,000.

By focusing on your price range and not looking outside your price range, you’ll have a better chance of buying a home you love for the long run. It’s a lot of work to go through buying a home. Why repeat the experience due to a mistake? You can get it right the first time around by talking about your price ranges with your agent and making sure your parameters for a property search are returning results you can live with.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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