Buying a home can be exciting, yet a nerve-racking experience. Price, size, style, layout, location, and school districts are only a few categories you may have on your checklist. There’s nothing wrong with searching for the home of your dreams, but like an arranged marriage, you may want to “learn to love” a good home which you can afford and, ultimately, live with.
Clients have asked me to show homes within certain school districts with short commutes to work, with lots of land in Arlington, or a large house without many stairs, or none at all. Unless you have hired a custom builder, expect to forgo the items lower on the checklist. If you’re seeking a home without many stairs, for example, perhaps you’d be fine with a flight broken up with one or two large landings. If you want a short distance to work but can’t afford the price tag, look for alternative commuting options that, yes, do take longer, but give you the time we all wish we had for reading, all while saving on gas, parking, and tolls.
You may also want to look into the past. Anywhere in the DC Metro area, you are literally in a unique land of historical significance. Checklist shortfalls may be compensated by investigating the American history of the neighborhoods you come across. For example, Woodbridge may seem like a long commute to the Pentagon for some, but once you learn about the history of the five Civil War engagements that took place in Occoquan or the way of life of Algonquian Doeg Native Americans who once called it home, you may be intrigued enough to anchor there.
Whether it’s Middleburg or Northeast DC, you can always find great reasons, old and new, to settle where you thought you never would, or in a house that didn’t have everything on your list. Of course, being practical is essential. But learn to love what you will ultimately call “home” and make this arranged marriage work.