While you might have an idea of what your perfect home would entail, you might find that actually purchasing that home that dreams are made of could end up overextending you financially. That’s when a “good enough” house could be a better strategy, especially for those who are eager to become homeowners. Here are four reasons why a “good enough” home often can be the “perfect home.”
1. It has all of the essentials
A good enough home may not have artisan tile or stainless-steel appliances, but it has the essentials. You want to seek out a home that’s well-maintained, has “good bones” and is in a good location. Well-maintained home in a good location likely will increase in value and probably won’t wind up costing you lots of money. Buyers tend to hone in on cosmetic upgrades, but instead focus on basics, like the windows, roof, and heating and air conditioning system. Then you will be less likely to face surprise repairs that are required just to make the house functional. If you can’t have it all, list the features you want, and decide where you’re willing to compromise. You might wind up with desirable features like hardwood flooring, but note that the home might not be flawless. One of the baths, for example, could have outdated tile. Keep in mind that even if it’s not beautiful, it’s still clean and functional.
2. It fits your lifestyle
Although a certain home might look like a dream from the outset, the commute to work could become a nightmare, so you’ll want to check that out before you buy it and end up selling it a few months later. Good is personal. For instance, a big yard could be a must for a family with a dog, but a pain if you hate yard work. And a good home matches your timeline. It should meet your needs for the years you plan to live there, which probably isn’t forever if it’s the first home.
3. It doesn’t squeeze your budget
Lenders will qualify buyers with considerably higher ratios, but that might not leave much for other expenses. That leaves people maxing out their debt-to-income ratio. A good enough home leaves you with enough money for other priorities, such as saving for retirement and emergencies, and for all of the costs of ownership other than the mortgage—like home insurance, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance.
4. It can be transformed
Over time, you can add dreamy features. Rather than going for the beautifully upgraded house priced at thousands more than you planned to spend, instead, keep looking and find a home that fits your budget. You always can grow into a home and fix it up to make it your own rather than purchasing something you can’t afford—especially if it has ample space for your children to play, is structurally sound, and is in the neighborhood you wanted. Eventually, you can make home improvements.