When Buying a House in Albany, Know What You Want Ahead of Time

It’s that time of the year again. It’s the time we all make a LIST. We make a holiday shopping list, a grocery list, a Santa wish list and maybe even a New Year’s resolution list.

But I’m not talking about any of those lists right now. I’m talking about your house “must-have” list. We know you have one. I know I certainly have one—and I’m not even in the market to buy a house. You better believe I’m going to be ready with it when I am ready to buy my next home!

As a real estate agent, I always recommend if you’re buying a house in Albany, that you create a “must-have” list before going to look at houses. It is a great starting point for many people. Who doesn’t want to dream about vaulted ceilings, in-ground swimming pools and open, updated floor plans? I know I do! It’s fun to sit on the couch and watch HGTV and think “I want a 2,500 sq ft house with a finished basement for $200,000 in the Capital Region. Those people found it—I can too”.  Then you realize they live 2,000 miles away from here in a completely different market and unless you’re ready to jump in to a huge renovation project— you’re probably not going to find that amount of square feet in that budget.

Here is an example of must-have list that a buyer just sent me:

1.    Large, fenced in back yard
2.    Updated kitchen
3.    First floor laundry
4.    4 bedrooms
5.    2 full bathrooms
6.    Neighborhood
7.    2 car garage
8.    No more than 20 minutes to my work
9.    $250,000 budget

These particular buyers have never looked at houses before. I asked them to take 15 minutes and sit down together to make their priority list. They emailed me the list above about 20 minutes later she said they had fun dreaming about their first home. Thinking about spending their first holiday there and how they could not wait to have friends over.

Once I had their list—it was time for me to show them some houses in the Albany region. It took them about 3 houses to figure out they had to change their priority list.  Here’s what their updated must-have list looked like.

1.    Decent yard
2.    Updated kitchen
3.    3-4 bedrooms
4.    1 full ½ bathroom
5.    Neighborhood
6.    2 car garage
7.    20-30 minutes to work
8.    $250,000 budget

They only took 1 thing completely off their list—that was the first floor laundry. They modified a few other priorities (bold/italics). That’s okay! That’s what the process is all about. It’s about learning. It’s about exploring. It’s about having fun and seeing fascinating houses that you didn’t know existed. You don’t have to give up your top priorities and you don’t need a $700,000 budget to find your dream home. Your dream house is out there and WE can help you find it!

Contact us or one of our dedicated real estate agents and we’ll help you start the process of buying a house in Albany NY!

Written by: Kate Newbegin