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Older Home Buyers More Likely to Pick and Choose, Experts Say

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By Amy Hoak

older_homebuyers_agent(MCT)—When you’ve already bought one or two homes in the past, you might know exactly what you want in your next one. On top of that, you’ll probably want a home that’s move-in ready. The location might also be nonnegotiable.

In short, the older you get, the pickier of a home shopper you are. And there’s research to back this up.

In a survey of recent home buyers and sellers, about half of people 58 and older made no compromises at all during their recent home purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only 28 percent of the youngest home buyers didn’t compromise, with most making all sorts of trade-offs on price, lot size, distance from job and the style of home. In between, the older you were, the less likely you were to compromise.

“The first-time buyer is starry-eyed and has no idea what they really need. They might want a five-bedroom and never use two of them,” said Stephen Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders. Those in their 50s “are better than most housing consumers at knowing what they want — and won’t be shy.”

Young buyers tend to focus on needs. They need three or four bedrooms to have enough room for their kids, said real estate agent Leslie Piper, who is also a consumer housing specialist for Realtor.com. They need to be located in a good school district.

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