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House Hunting Havoc? 5 Alternatives When You Can't Find Your Dream Home

By Jamie Richardson | August 1, 2021

For years, you’ve fantasized about your perfect home. Maybe your checklist revolves around a gorgeous backyard with a patio and pool, or perhaps you’d like to find a gourmet kitchen that would rival a five-star restaurant. Regardless of your specific real estate aspirations, making a dream home a reality isn’t always easy. 

Depending on your search parameters and non-negotiables, finding a pre-built home that fulfills your every desire might be incredibly challenging. After weeks, months, or maybe even years of searching, it may be time to try a few alternatives to buying your dream home.

Build a custom home

If you haven’t found your dream home in already-existing houses on the market, consider starting from scratch by building a custom home. Creating your own home can feel like an overwhelming undertaking, and you may not even know where to begin. Luckily, you won’t have to go through the process alone. First, establish a budget for your custom home and determine your timeframe for construction. Then, you’ll need to choose between a custom or stock home plan. 

With a custom plan, you’ll likely need to find and employ architects and designers to help you sketch out your home. While this option comes with endless customization opportunities, a stock home plan can provide you with a solid foundation for your custom home, so you don’t need to start from scratch. Find a stock home plan you like from a company like Monster House Plans, and you can begin making essential modifications to the plan to meet your family’s needs. Stock home plans can save you money, and they also come with excellent resale value if you ever decide to sell in the future.

Invest in a fixer-upper

While scrolling through online real estate sites, you’re probably not looking at the cheap, outdated homes that don’t have the curb appeal every homeowner craves. Unfortunately, you may be missing out on an excellent opportunity. Though the old house down the street may not seem like much, with a bit of TLC and construction work, you may be able to bring your dream home to life. By saving money with your home purchase upfront, you’ll have plenty of leftover cash you can use to fix up an old, neglected house to become your family’s sanctuary.

Buy a starter home

A starter home may not sound quite as lovely as a dream home, but if you’re a first-time home-buyer, a starter home can offer you attractive financial benefits. Starter homes tend to be cheaper and can help you adjust to homeownership without having to pay massive mortgage payments every month. You’ll learn how to make intelligent financial decisions long-term without driving yourself into deep debt. With a starter home, you’ll also build equity quickly and can begin saving up for that dream home in the future.

Renovate your current home

For those who already own a home and are striving to make their next move, renovating your current home can be an excellent option depending on your circumstances. If you’re moving to upgrade from a one-bedroom home to a five-bedroom, renovating your existing home may not be feasible. However, if you’re searching for a more spacious kitchen with a walk-in pantry or simply want an extra bathroom, consider renovating rather than moving. Not only can renovating be cheaper than relocating, but you also have the option to apply to renovation loan programs rather than paying for your upgrades out of pocket.

Expand your parameters

If you’re having difficulty finding your perfect dream home, it may be time for a bit of compromise. Your specific requirements may be eliminating potential homes from your search results that would be perfect for you and your family, except for one or two minor flaws. Before you continue your search, sit down and make a list, prioritizing your non-negotiables and what features you’d like to have but aren’t necessary. Maybe you need vaulted ceilings but would be willing to expand your location parameters into areas you haven’t previously considered. If you need to make a few minor concessions, renovating is always an option before moving in or further down the line.

The bottom line

The search for your perfect home won’t be a walk in the park. However, the home you’ve always envisioned may be within reach after a few more years of savings, or maybe it’s the house around the corner that just needs a little love and care. Pursue every alternative available to you, and soon, you’ll be living in the home of your dreams.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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