by Dave Twombly, 4 Buyers Real Estate

As we’ve discussed in the past, my dear readers, finding the right home is a complex, confusing and emotional thing.  What do you really want in a house?  Where do you want that house to be?  Do you like the things you think you like?  Can you find everything that you want?

Sometimes it’s easy. You know that it’s gotta be a condo in Cambridge and nothing else will do.  But what if you don’t know where you want it to be?  Most folks, when searching, have an idea of where they want to settle down.  They choose 2-3 towns that might work for them, do their research on schools, commutes, neighborhoods etc.

Recently I was out with clients who are searching over a wide swath of the Greater Boston Area.  We’ve been from Melrose to Waltham and every town in between.  Towns get added and towns get dropped as we learn more about them.  The perfect combination of house and town is out there for them but we haven’t found it yet.

A few weeks back we strode into a gem of a house. Everything was perfect. The layout was great, the size of the rooms was perfect, the kitchen was new and the plot was fantastic. Everything was gleaming in fact, I swore I heard that little gleaming noise “schiiing” that you get when something sparkles. There was nothing not to love about the house. All you had to do was unzip your suitcase and move in.

Have I gone to the housewarming party yet, you might ask?  No. Because, as we had been in the right house, it musta been the wrong town.  Upon more primary research (walking, driving, seeing what’s nearby) it seems the town wasn’t for them.  While it was a learning experience for us all, removing one town from the search will help us focus on what they really want.

So, here is the question for you.  Property or location?  Which is more important to you?  Can a house be perfect if it’s not exactly where you want it to be?  You want to love the four walls (okay, there is probably a floor and ceiling as well) that will be living in, but you have to live outside those walls as well.  (Of course, if all of my clients were hermits this might not be a problem).

Before you start your search spend some time in the towns you are considering.  Walk from the center, have a meal, stroll around on a weekend.  You might find that regardless of how nice a structure might be, the right house will never be there.