A new generation of homebuyers doesn’t seem to believe that simply owning a home can be the first step toward wealth creation. Agents can help them to gain a more sensible perspective and a home in their price range with these suggestions.

Even with the home prices easing downward as they are today, price tags remain at stratospheric levels, and many buyers are struggling to find homes they can afford that include the amenities they desire.

Adding to buyer frustrations is a common disconnect between what they believe they “must have” versus what they actually “need.” With home prices at record highs, this disparity is producing increasing levels of angst for everyone involved in the process.

Today’s buyers no longer focus on the fundamentals of homeownership. Instead, they concentrate on stone countertops, remodeled bathrooms, laminate floors and more.

In my opinion, the ultimate goal of buyers should be homeownership and not a specific level of amenities. A solution would be to help buyers understand the differences between their perceived “needs” and “wants.”

A “need” should be something you fundamentally cannot live without. A “want” is something that would be nice if possible. The goal here is for buyers to learn to live within their means.

Here are five suggestions for buyers struggling to find a home that fits their budget:

1. Modify your size requirements

Although four bedrooms and 2,000 square feet would be nice, can you live with three? Do your clients really need both a living room and family room? How about 1,500 square feet? Do they absolutely need 2.5 bathrooms, or will two suffice? How about 1.5? Or even one?

2. Consider homes with smaller yards

Some of my favorite childhood memories come from a home that had a very small yard. We looked forward to visits to the park on weekends. Current generations have bought into the mindset that their children must have a certain level of space and amenities to grow up as well-rounded adults. The fact that the majority of the world’s population lives in small homes with no yard at all flies in the face of that logic.

3. Amend your ‘must have’ list

Although stone counters are nice, they also increase the home’s price tag, as do stainless steel appliances, remodeled bathrooms, laminate floors and so on.

Millions of kitchens worldwide work just fine with tile or laminate counters, older appliances and linoleum floors. My recommendation is to buy at a lower price point and make incremental improvements over time.

4. Reconsider your school requirements

Top-rated school districts are important, but many well-known individuals have succeeded without attending top-ranked schools. The far greater influence in a child’s life is the willingness of parents to be highly involved in their child’s education outside the classroom.

5. Do not overlook other configurations

Remember that the initial goal is to get into a home, not to get the home of your dreams. Thousands have used condos, townhouses, duets and other configurations as their first step in the homeownership journey.

Those who object to paying homeowner’s association fees have usually not taken the time to realistically calculate the actual monthly costs of homeownership for a detached, single-family home. HOA fees can actually be a bargain.

Manage buyer expectations correctly, and you will not only secure a home for your buyer, but they will also begin on the path of wealth building and owning their piece of the American dream.

Carl Medford is the CEO of The Medford Team.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription