Real Estate Realities
Managing Expectations Is Part Of Home Buying
By David Rosenfeld
Oct 11, 2012 - 12:51:33 PM

LOS ANGELESSometimes it’s a good idea to “shoot for the skies” when it comes to your business goals or your work or creative ambitions, but when it comes to Real Estate, such thinking can be costly and ill advised  to say the least.

Managing a home can be costly.

As a Real Estate professional I welcome clients who are looking to buy homes with new ideas in mind, for their next purchase. Whether it’s a large backyard with lots of grass, foliage and large shady trees, to a huge master bedroom with walk-in closets and an equally large bathroom attached.

While it’s nice to have a showcase home with all the proverbial bells and whistles, it’s usually a good idea to be practical about your needs and those of your family. The expense of acquiring large homes with all the amenities as well as the huge bathrooms, loaded kitchens, and cavernous backyards may leave you wondering once you calculate the final cost of it all and whether it was all worth it.

I often ask clients if they really want or need homes with lots of bedrooms, fancy kitchens and huge walk-in closets. And also whether they will use these features and take advantage of them on a regular basis. Oftentimes, the answer is yes, but sometimes it’s “no” and it makes the potential buyer realize that they have to be practical and realistic when it comes to buying a home.

My feeling is that you have to be pragmatic and realistic about your needs and whether your potential new home meets those needs or whether it’s just a showcase that isn’t particularly homey or warm.

Oftentimes buyers fall in love with a home that has many outstanding amenities with all the seeming bells and whistles anyone may ask for. But in reality, the extra bathrooms, game rooms, guest house and swimming pools would remain unused and only add to the cost of the upkeep.

Moreover, if you know you’d like to start a family or if perhaps you see more children in your future, it’s important to know whether your home will be able to accommodate a growing family. It’s important to understand that when you buy a property that it’s a long-term investment and that it needs to accommodate not just your current needs, but your future ones as well. It’s a tough decision that we all make, so don’t let your excitement or giddiness get the best of you without first making sure that this property will still meet your needs in next few years.

If you have a family it’s always best to buy at least a three-bedroom home. One bedroom for each child, as they grow. And as your needs also grow you can adapt the home to your needs with a room addition or simply repurposing a den.

For young couples, for instance, the attraction of loft apartments has left many wanting after they realize these apartments may not accommodate children or the needs of a growing family. Lofts are wonderful with their high ceilings and large spaces, but these are things for young couples or single people.

The same is true if you like to entertain a lot, you want a lot of space for your friends during gatherings. But if you have these large spaces that generally stay empty, it’s counterproductive and make a home feel more like a cavern and not particularly cozy.

As I’ve said in the past, buying a home is an emotional decision. It’s about how you feel about property and how it makes you feel. Once you begin living there, things can change and at that point is when you understand whether this property is right for you and your family’s current and future needs.

David Rosenfeld is a Real Estate broker and president of Advantage Real Estate, a Real Estate and investment firm in Santa Monica, and a Rotary Club member. He has more than 20 years experience in commercial and residential property investments and financial counseling.

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