When Perfect is the Enemy of Good or Great

I recently wrote an article about the Paradox of Choice, you can see it at the link. In it we talked about there being less choice in the market but that is not necessarily a bad thing. We talked about positive constraints and knowing what you want when you are buying property or, to put it bluntly, anything really. When you are sure about what your requirements are then it is a lot easier to find what you are looking for. However, this is a follow up, this is a warning and it’s important when looking for property or anything, sometimes perfect is your enemy because perfect doesn’t exist, sometimes good enough is great!

I know, I know…

I told you to take the first step and fill in the form on the article about that first step (Do it now, I can wait) Honestly, that is the most important step so that we can understand your requirements when buying or renting a property, it’s also the most important step so that you yourself can understand your own requirements. Until you write something down you can be swayed by your emotions.



Analysis Paralysis

In the last article we talked about buyer’s remorse, analysis paralysis and ego depletion. All three of these factors come into play when searching for a house and it’s no surprise, it’s a big decision. However, sometimes the list of requirements can make the decision seem an onerous task and actually too many parameters can actually make that decision a real impossibility because

nothing ticks every box when you have 100 boxes.

Nobody built their house with your criteria in mind, nobody took your specificiations and said let’s build a house for this person rather than ourselves. And even if they did your parameters change over the years and your ideal home can become less ideal after a time.

We see this time after time demonstrated by people who are looking for a purchase after they have lived in a rental firstly. They might get 80% of what they want in the rental but after living here for a time the criteria change for the purchase.

What this leads us to is a conclusion that anything over 80% should be seriously considered for a purchase as you can make up that extra 20% with what you put into a property, whether that is the decoration, the style or the feeling that you bring to a place.

Read more about what we said about analysis paralysis below

We live in an instagrammed world where only the perfect is shown, filters disguise imperfections and the things that annoy aren’t shown whether those are parts of our personality, our bad hair day or the bits of our house that don’t look perfect yet because we are working on them. You have to live in the real world not the airbrushed presentation given to the World through those filters. Everyone is lying on social media about their 100% happy life, their 100% fantastic parties and their 100% perfect home. 80-90% should be considered good enough.

The Biggest Failure

Clarity is important and the thing that most people feel the need to be most clear about is location. Without this box ticked off lots of people never ever make a decision about a property, however I did (See below). The best house in the World in the wrong location is not an option because you can change many things about the house but you cannot do anything about the location. The best house in the World in a less than ideal location when it’s still a good location can work.

As you know though the best house in the World may exist in Stoke on those wet Tuesday nights, it may exist in Downtown Detroit, Main Street MedellĂ­n or Happening Harare but there is no way I am going to live there and neither will you. An “80% of your requirements” house or apartment in the 80-100% perfect location for you is much better than a 100% house in a place you don’t want to be and will never grow fond of.

Unless you don’t care where it is

What Is Perfection in a Property?

I’ve been looking at properties for a long time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the perfect property, that single place that ticks all of my boxes and seems like it was built just for me in the right place. If I filled in the form I would find that my own house doesn’t correspond to 100% of what I was looking for when I bought it. I’ve now been living in it, mostly happily, for over 20 years.

Why is that?

Well, it covered most of my requirements and I was willing to give up a couple of them to get what I wanted and, funnily enough for me, the biggest requirement I gave up was the ideal location because I didn’t have one. I had preferred locations of course, we all do, but it didn’t have to be in one particular place and nothing else was good enough and, very importantly, what I really wanted wasn’t available in my price range in those preferred locations.

Importantly, I had no strong feelings on the exact location for the place where my house should be. Therefore the location I found was definitely good enough at the time and over they years the location hasn’t moved of course but the inconveniences I knew of initially I find don’t really bother me much and, believe it or not, the location has got better.

Most importantly, the most basic requirements were covered: plenty of space, plenty of potential and the ability to adapt that space and potential into what I wanted from it even though this was done over a long period of time. I put up with things I didn’t like for years at times and yes, I still have walls with GotelĂ© which was going to be the first thing I got rid of and that musical doorbell took twenty years to change!

The truth is my house still isn’t perfect, the bedrooms are still slightly too small, the terrace would be better facing east, the living room could be bigger and the walls could be thicker, neighbours can be loud at times in Spain, but those are all minor quibbles for me, always have been, always will be.

80% or More

The most important thing was that the place I bought covered most of my bases and was better for me than anything else I was looking at. Two of the main criteria were a pool and garden but more importantly for me was that it would be better if I didn’t have to look after them because I expected to have no time (The truth is I have no skill but that’s another story)

Once a place was found that satisfied these two criteria and meant I had a pool and someone else looked after it for me for a very decent price I was sold because the house had space, potential and a good location. It fulfilled 80% or more of my requirements and that was enough for me.

Could making that decision allow you to take the final step and make an offer on that property that just does it for you?

The Lesson

You will never have too much choice in a market where supply is tight if you really have definite criteria for your property. You may have a decent range of choices or you may have a limited range but if you are someone who has thought about what they want you will never have unlimited choices. We learnt that in the last article.

The vast majority of your criteria satisfied?

Then buy it.

You can fix the rest after.

In a limited option market you might find that you are looking for something as good as that one you really should have bought previously for a very long time after not going through with it.

Want An Example?

We were told by one client a few months ago that they found the perfect place four or five years ago but couldn’t get their finance together in time to buy it, they were beaten by a cash buyer. Everything they have seen since then gets compared to that property and fails to convince.

Think about it though, prices have risen by about 50% since then so yes, of course nothing compares to it, they are not comparing like with like, their budget has remained the same (They have also still not sorted their finance so if something does come up it’s going to happen again) They could have been living there for half a decade now and be sitting on a nice capital gain too but that’s gone now.

The good news is that there are loads of great places to live in and around Valencia so a single location is not the usual situation. See our articles here about the best areas of the city to buy and here about inland Valencia towns to find a great lifestyle. You might even want to read this one about where the people with Ferraris live. If you can get over that hump of insisting on one specific location then the world may open up to you especially if your budget doesn’t allow for that location, think Monteolivete over Ruzafa for example or do like I did and go for La Pobla de Vallbona over L’Eliana.


Golden Visa Property of the Week

No listing this week over 500k as we are getting close to Christmas and listings are thinner on the ground at this time of year. However, you could put together a portfolio of properties to make up a 500k+ selection from our homepage very easily and have rental income coming from the properties to complement the place you are living in.


Deal of the Week

A new feature we are incorporating into the blog from this week is the deal of the week. The property we think is a great deal and is sitting on the site as a new listing or unloved off the homepage but waiting for someone to pick it up. This week we have this townhouse in Betera with Castle Views from the large roof terrace. Newly listed and ready to view.

Coming to Spain dreaming of flamenco dancers, bullfighters and medieval castles, but then disappointed when you get here to discover that Valencia is actually a shiny, super-modern 21st century city?

Well, listen up, because although we’ll leave the flamenco and the toreros to the tourist traps, we have found you a castle. In Betera town, this townhouse has spectacular views of the castle from the large terrace.

The ground floor of the house has an entrance hall, a large renovated open kitchen with a living room with high ceiling, a complete bathroom with a shower and two bedrooms.On the first floor we have a cozy living room, an office kitchen and 2 bedrooms (1 single, 1 double), and 1 full bathroom with a bathtub.

The windows are double glazed, there is a hot / cold air conditioning system. Porcelain floors and high speed fiber-optic internet already installed.

The situation of the house is unbeatable, right in the town, just 200 m from the health center, 350 m from the supermarket, 450 m from the school, 500 m from public transport and only 5 km of the main roads such as CV-35.

So when you get frustrated with the conveniences of modern life in this house, you can sit out on your terrace and enjoy a drink while looking at the castle and dreaming of flamenco dancers and bullfighters.

Sharing is Caring

If you know of someone who is looking for a property anywhere then maybe share this article with them as it may help them to actually make that decision. Share this post on your social media channels and put your friends or family in touch with us. We’ll be happy to help them make their choice.


If You Liked This…

Then click through to some of our other posts either within the post itself or on the images below. Just click on an image to be taken there. Lots more Valencia Property goodness for you to enjoy with endless information and lots of laughs to be had. If you just want to take a look at some properties then click here for our Valencia Property Homepage for our latest listings