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Location, Location ... Location?

2017 has been a record-breaking year for Kansas City real estate: record sales, record prices, and record numbers of buyers battling for record low inventory. Many areas are starting to even out or even see a significant lull in market activity, but the real hotspots in northeast Johnson County and northwest Jackson County are continual objects of desire. And if a home in an area like that is in mint condition, it won’t sit for even 12 hours without a contract. So what does all this mean for buyers who are tired of getting outbid, or who have hesitation about venturing into the market at all?

Next to hiring a great agent, prioritizing between look and location is your best friend. Olympic Gold buyers, the ones that want their future home to score a 10 in both categories, should be prepared to go head-to-head with other like-minded competitors who may be willing to pay anywhere from five thousand to fifty thousand dollars over asking price. That’s a nightmare for equity, but perhaps your dream home is worth it to you. However, if you can determine which of those qualities is most important to you, and be willing to make sacrifices regarding the secondary attribute, you have a much better chance of ending up with a home that holds more value for your lifestyle and your wallet.

That may seem like a lot to ask, and you may have no clue which one to choose. This list of important factors that every buyer must consider will help you determine whether look or location is more important to you:

  1. What’s prompting your move? If your family is growing or shrinking and you need a different sized space, maybe location isn’t an issue as long as the home has everything you need. If your kids are reaching school age and you want them in a certain district, or your new job is an hour away from your current home, then location is everything.
  2. How do you imagine daily life in your new home? If you daydream about walking to a new restaurant every night for dinner, location is going to be a big factor in your purchase. If you’re more of a perpetual host, location might not matter as much as having a beautiful, open floor plan and plenty of space for guests in your new digs.
  3. What’s your budget and how much flexibility do you have? If you have a tight budget and you need a move-in ready home, focusing on the look of the home and its current functionality will serve you well. If you have a roomy budget, you can afford to find a fixer-upper in a nice area and put money into it after you close. Again, if you’re going for a perfect 10 home in a perfect 10 location, it’s likely to blow your current budget no matter what your dollar amount is.

Whatever you decide, communicate it clearly with your agent so you can come up with a game plan together. If you simply can’t bring yourself to compromise on either of these points, talk through your reasons with your agent and what you’re willing to go through to get that gold medal. This will ensure that your expectations are appropriate and eliminate as much pain as possible from the process