There’s a well-known principle in project planning that states a project can be done fast, good, or cheap, pick two. Basically, a project done quickly and correctly will not be cheap; a project done correctly and cheaply will not be done quickly; and a project done fast and cheap will not be good. I’ve worked on hundreds of projects in my ten years of working on websites and the “pick two” rule has never failed.
While looking to purchase a house in Baltimore, I’ve found a slight variation applies to real estate: condition, location, price, or size, pick three. Or put another way:
- A house in good condition, in a good location, at a good price will also be very small.
- A house in a good location, at a good price, and a good size will be in poor condition.
- Houses in good condition, at a good price, and a good size will be found in bad neighborhoods.
- And houses in good condition, in a good location, and a good size will be very expensive.
Perhaps it’s a bit obvious to experienced home buyers, but I found this outlook to be really helpful in grounding my expectations for our first home. Once you decide which of the four characteristics matter most to you, it really simplifies your house search.