Recently I was working with a buyer from out of town who, like many buyers, thought she knew what she wanted. The brief I was given went something like this: a planned community in the suburbs similar to where she currently lives, downsizing from a house to a townhouse, driving distance to amenities and a small backyard.
While this is what I was given, everything she told me about her lifestyle indicated the opposite. She is planning on retiring soon and wants this to be a long term home. She talked about traveling more and buying a scooter. She wants to take her dogs for walks. She eats healthy and wants fresh, organic food. She wants to be able to easily visit family in the city.
Everything she told me about how she wanted to actually live her life, pointed me towards a low-rise condo on the cusp of downtown — some place that offered a slower pace of life with easy access to parks, the lake, fresh groceries, transit and walking paths.
I made my case and she heard me out, but wasn’t completely convinced until we went out to Mississauga and compared it to The Beach and the East End of Toronto.
Buyers say they want comfort in a new home, but often this has nothing to do with number of bedrooms, good schools, access to shopping and a large backyard for Fido. I’ve found that this “comfort” is sometimes just code for “I’m actually afraid of change, so give me what I know.” This fear could drive you towards buying the wrong home in the wrong location.
Before you buy, it’s important to pause and think about comfort versus fear. Keep an open mind, explore many different options and find a Realtor who can read between the lines so you can find the home you are truly searching for.