Margo makes some good points about not expecting for find the perfect house.
Here is a revelation...there is no perfect house! It wouldn't matter if you were the architect, builder, and interior designer...at the end of the day there would be something you would change.
House-hunting can be fun, but it can turn frustrating if you expect to find the perfect house. Here's how you can increase your odds of success:
•1. List Your Must-Have's - if you collect classic cars, you are going to require garage space. Know which items are truly deal-breakers, and which items are just "nice to have".
•2. Give Feedback - your realtor can help you much more effectively if you share your thoughts after each showing. There is no need to sugar-coat your feedback to the realtor. It is easier to help a buyer who knows what she wants, than to help a buyer who likes everything.
•3. Know Your Partner - if you are buying a home with a partner, be prepared to discover your differences, and then adjust your Must-Have's to align.
•4. Have a Target Area - While you should retain some flexibility, it helps when you zone in on a target area. If you don't find a house in your "A-list" towns, you can move on to the "B-list" towns.
I encourage buyers to think in terms of compromises. If you get most of what you want, then you are doing well! Both the buyer and realtor need to keep in mind that what initially may be a deal-breaker might not be an issue, if the house has all the other important features. The decision-making process is often a shifting sand of prioritizing.
I think of showing houses as a way to fine-tune the wish list. On the first visit you will get an idea of what is on the market in your price range. On your second trip, you should be able to refine the priority list. On the 3rd trip, every house you see should be a candidate for purchase.
Perhaps you've been out a half-dozen times, and you still haven't seen the house you want? What went wrong?
It could be that your expectations of what you will get for your money are out of line. It may be that you've restricted your geographic area of search too tightly, resulting in few homes to be found. I have sometimes found that partners don't agree on the priority list, and thereby nullify each other's choices. If you aren't making progress, have a heart-to-heart with your partner and realtor to realign expectations and priorities.
You can find a great house - just don't expect it to be perfect! Happy Hunting!