Buying the Perfect House – True Story

Buying the Perfect House

When we dream of our first home, the sky’s the limit.  We dream of spacious bedrooms and a terrific yard ready for a BBQ.  We dream of custom kitchens with architectural detail.  We dream of thoughtful neighbors and the right school district.  We dream and it is awesome.

Then comes reality.  The house on the perfect street has a vintage kitchen.  Or the home with the spacious family room abuts the freeway.  Often times a buyer grows frustrated looking for their perfect home.

Let me spare you some heartache.  YOUR perfect home is not out there.  Why?  Because you haven’t made it yet!

Yes, it is that simple.  In our 25+ years of real estate experience, we have gone down this path with each buyer we meet.  Some are quick to realize and quick to adjust.  Others refuse to budge and often lose out on some great opportunities.

It’s probably the hardest conversation to have with a buyer – aside from the ‘you were outbid’ talk.  Because it forces a buyer to quickly adjust their needs and wants list – if – they want to become a homeowner here in the gorgeous San Francisco Bay Area.

How can a buyer make the right decision?  That’s a great question – because there is a perfect home out there – you just have to see its potential.

  • Determine your true budget.  That means, before you start looking at homes, you’ve written out your monthly budget as it stands today – AND – you’ve written out your budget post home purchase.  The worst feeling in the world is writing an offer and being unsure you can afford the offer price.  So part of a buyers homework is to determine how much you can afford on the monthly mortgage payment and then talk to a bank.  Often times the max purchase price the bank says you can spend – isn’t what you feel comfortable spending.  And that is the information your Realtor needs to know BEFORE they start house hunting for you.

o   Make sure your budget accounts for more than just the mortgage payment.  Home ownership includes property taxes,

insurance on the home, and a reserve fund for those expected/unexpected home repairs.


  • Determine why you are buying your home.  Do you need more space?  Are the kids starting school and you want to settle into a nice neighborhood?  If you can pinpoint exactly why you want or need to buy – your Realtor can help hone in on the homes that fit the bill.
  • Make a true Needs and Wants list.  Be ready to adjust that list as you see what your can afford.
  • Be Flexible.  In our experience – 9 times out of 10 – a buyer buys a home that doesn’t fit the original plan.  Why? Either they fell in love with the home or they realized what they thought they wanted was out of their price range or what they thought they wanted was more of a wish than a need.
  • Be REALISTIC!  The hardest part of the home buyer journey is the reality check.  You cannot expect to buy a three bedroom two bath on the Peninsula if your budget is only $400,000.  And being a stick in the mud isn’t going to help you!  Ask your agent how they think you can get the most bang for your buck.  Often our first time buyers find a better opportunity when they open up to other areas or types of homes.

Whatever type of home you are looking for in the Bay Area, The Caton Team is here to listen to your wants and needs and work with you to achieve home ownership.  What can we do for you?

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

Thanks for reading – Sabrina


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Sabrina Caton - The Caton Team - Realtors

Sabrina & Susan are native Californians - born and raised in the Silicon Valley with a passion for Residential Real Estate. A mother and daughter-in-law duo called - The Caton Team. With over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time. Call | Text at: 650-799-4333 | Email The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true. The Peninsula is our backyard - let us help make it yours. We represent Buyer’s and Seller’s throughout the Bay Area. The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina A Family of Realtors Effective. Efficient. Responsive. What can we do for you?

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