How Many Houses To See before Buying

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My roommate, an American guy in his mid 20s, has been looking for a house (condo, duplex) for a while. By “a while” I meant he probablly have done this for about 9 months. I understand he has many reasons for this long process: first he was new to St. Louis when he relocated from another state to here, i.e., he need some time to get familar with the area; then comes the stagnant real estate market, in the down market everyone is waiting, as a buyer he certainlly don’t want to see the price drop after he buy the house; and most important of all, I believe he looked too many houses. I don’t know how many places he actually saw, but when he showed me the web listings from time to time, talked about the pros and cons of this house vs. that house, I know he looked too many.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s good to have some choices. We all need to check out a few places to get any idea what we like/dislike, what we want and can afford (remember affordable luxury?). But too many choices is not necessarily a good thing. When I looked at condos in early 2005, I probablly only checked out 10 places. Maybe I am too easy. But I know I waste times on other things such as stocks and other bargains, cars, etc. It’s true the web brings a lot of convenience and choices to us, but on the other hand, it could really help us not to make any decision. Oh, well,…how much is LFC (601628 in Shanghai Stock Exchange) now 🙂 

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