5 Real Estate Lessons from House Hunters

by Kay Lynn

open house

House Hunters and House Hunters International are two shows Mr. Boomer and I love to watch together.  We learn about the housing markets in other parts of the country and world as well and get ideas for our own home.

After months of watching television research there are five common themes of the home buyer behavior.  I’m also glad no one taped us when we were house hunting.

Great Expectations

At the beginning of each episode the potential buyer(s) detail their criteria for the new home.  Young couples buying their first home want what their parents have at home even though most likely the parents didn’t start with that size of home and all those creature comforts.

Common “needs” are great views, big yards, open floor plan, lots of bathrooms, fireplace, privacy and of course more space.  Sounds great right? Sometimes these wants are in direct conflict.  Unless you have a lot of money, it’s hard to get a great view and privacy.

Bigger is Always Better

We’re always amazed at the buyers complaining that 2,000+ SF homes are too small.  These aren’t families with 8, 6 or sometimes even 4 members and somehow they need more space than shown.  It’s not uncommon for couples to want a media room and separate hobby rooms for each spouse on top of the bedrooms and other living space.

Mr. Boomer and I raised three kids in less than 1500 SF and although I would have loved a bigger master bedroom and bathrooms, we never thought we needed to shop for a bigger house.  Our mortgage was extremely affordable and the kids had their own rooms and a yard to play in.

No Place Like Home

House Hunters International has given us a new appreciation for North American standards.  Apartments in Paris, London and Rome make Manhattan prices look like a bargain.  I can’t image paying the prices demanded in these locations or living in such small places.  

Although watching the expressions on American faces as they face reality in these cities is good entertainment, it also brings a new found appreciation for home.

Budgets are Only Guidelines

The buyer’s budget is disclosed at the beginning of the show.  Usually at least one of the three homes shown in the program are over the buyer’s budget.  That’s understandable when it’s a local custom to negotiate price.

Often the home is farther outside the range than can be brought down or in a country where the price is very firm.  It’s amazing how often buyers will select and buy a home higher than their stated budget. 

The Heart Often Rules

It’s fun to guess which home was picked by weighing the wish list against the three home options.  It’s not unusual for buyers to totally forgo the home with one of their “must haves” for another.  Why? 

Emotions play a big part in which home is selected.  Sometimes you realize the view is more important than a media room.

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There’s a lot to learn about real estate from House Hunters.  You also learn a lot about people. 

photo credit: TheTruthAbout…
Content © Bucksomeboomer  2009-2010. All Rights Reserved.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Richella February 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Excellent observations you’ve made here!

Stopping by from SITS. Have a great day!
.-= Richella´s last blog ..Late to the party =-.

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Bucksome February 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Richella,

Thanks for stopping by.

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Sandra February 21, 2010 at 11:28 am

Great observations! I too like watching House Hunter. Usually my husband and I will try to guess which one the buyers will end up buying. Of course what we like and what they like are different. I also noticed that realtors like to take house hunters to look at houses they can’t afford. I do hate it when realtors do that. Many times the buyers fall in love with the more expensive houses ’cause they’re nicer or in a better location. When we looked for a house a year ago, I told my realtor up front the max. amount we’re willing to spend & will absolutely not look at a house more expensive than that.

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Bucksome February 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Sandra, good strategy to just not look at houses over the budget. What helped us stay within budget (other than self-discipline) was that we wouldn’t have been able to transfer our tax basis from the previous home if we went more than 5% over the selling price of that home.

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