Posted in: Buying a home

How buyers can choose between two great homes

How buyers can choose between two great homes

Key insights

  • When choosing between two great homes, start by considering what you can’t change about the house — like its overall style or location.
  • Be honest about your future needs. Don’t be afraid to consider the resale value of the home, or to disregard that in favor of finding the right “forever home.”
  • Still in doubt? Nothing beats an old-school pros and cons list to make the final choice.

Today’s market has low inventory, and many buyers are worried about finding even one home that suits all their needs. But other buyers are having the opposite problem: they are having a difficult time choosing which home they should put an offer on.

Here are insights you can use as you choose between multiple properties for sale in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Measure the perks of each location

The saying, "Location, location, location" is a cliché for a reason. While you can change many things about a home, you cannot alter its proximity to the places you visit most often.

Few things can add or reduce stress more than the length of your daily commute, so consider the total time you’ll spend driving, walking or biking to your usual destinations from each home. Conversely, if you now work from home or have a hybrid work schedule, your work commute may be less of a factor than it was a few years ago. In that case, pay attention to the distance from each home to common destinations like schools, grocery stores, workout facilities and key family members or friends.

Focus on style and permanence

As HGTV has taught us, there are many things you can change about a home, but some elements will remain the same no matter how much money or effort you put in. As you look at both homes, evaluate the amount of work each will need — and how much that will change the overall feel once the renovations are complete.

For example, you may be torn between two homes: the first, an older home with great bones and style, but in need of a new kitchen. The second, a fully-updated home that doesn’t match your vibe. While a kitchen remodel on House #1 will be expensive and time-consuming, you could end up with your dream house after only a few months — rather than settling for Home #2 that doesn’t feel “quite right” even after years of smaller tweaks.

Stay true to yourself

Buying a fixer-upper has never been more en vogue, but there’s no shame in wanting a turnkey house where you can settle in easily. If you aren’t a do-it-yourself enthusiast, don’t be afraid to choose the higher-priced, move-in ready home that matches all your criteria, as long as it fits in your budget.

Look ahead to the resale value… or don’t?

While it can seem strange to consider selling a house you haven’t even bought yet, the potential resale value of a home may be an important factor in your decision. If you plan to live in the home for only a few years, you may wish to buy a house that is in an up-and-coming area, so you position yourself to make more when you sell.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a “forever home,” you should consider the neighborhood that works best for you today and down the road… without considering how much the home will be worth in a decade or more. For buyers who plan to stay in place, the return-on-investment won’t be translated into easy dollars and cents, but rather into the life they’re able to create after picking a house and area they love.

Write up the pros and cons

Still unsure? When in doubt, begin making a pros and cons list of each house. Then, rank each item in order of importance. Ask yourself questions that may seem a bit ridiculous: What’s more important, a home with an original claw-foot tub, or a house that’s just five minutes from a highway?

Tally up the totals and see if one is clearly on top of the other. Remember that instinct counts double! If you have a good gut feeling about one house, don’t be afraid to add that to the list of “pros” as you evaluate.

Need help with your home buying journey?

If you’re in the early stages of buying, it can help to set expectations with an educated neighborhood specialist. Get in touch with Edina Realty or your agent to get started on the path to buying the perfect home.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings