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Forget a dream home — aim for what’s practical

March Real Estate on the Cheap: Time to pinch pennies? Shoot for what you need in a home over what you want.

By Leah L. Culler of MSN Real Estate

Forget a dream home — aim for what's practical (© Jupiterimages/Getty Images)


Your home may be your castle, but the past several years have proved that it’s not the surefire investment it once was. It no longer makes sense to stretch your budget and buy the biggest and best home you can afford.

Plus, most people move about every five years, on average, says Don Russell, a Charlotte, N.C., real-estate agent.

“Don’t try and build your dream house right off the bat,” he says. “You don’t want to live for your house when you’re young. If you never have any money to go to the movies or — worst-case scenario — even Taco Bell, you are not going to be the loving couple you are today in five years.”

But your home should meet all your needs. In this installment of “Real Estate on the Cheap,” we’ll talk to some agents about how to winnow down your list of wants to find a home that’s just what you need — and nothing more. We’ll also talk to an agent in the hot real-estate market of Orange County, Calif., to see if there’s hope of finding a deal there.

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