When I first started my hunt for the perfect home I asked my mom, “Is buying a house sort of like trying on a wedding dress? Will I know for sure when I find the right one?” My mom laughed and said, “No. It isn’t going to feel like a wedding dress.” She explained that no matter what, even if I found the “almost perfect” house, I was going to have doubts. This is the biggest purchase of my life up until now and it is going to be a bit nerve wracking. To help combat our first time home buyer nervousness, my mom advised my husband and I to make a list of pros and cons and to try to stay analytical rather than emotional.
Buyers may have a very specific idea in mind when they are begin looking at real estate listings and shopping for a house. In some cases, they may find their “almost perfect” dream home that is missing one amenity or feature that makes them turn away. However, passing up a property that would be otherwise perfect if it had a pool or granite countertops can cause buyers to miss out on many opportunities.
So before dismissing a great home, individuals should consider whether there are alterations they can make themselves after they have purchased a property. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was
“Look at the bones of the house. If the house has good bones you will have an easier time looking past cosmetic issues.”
Buyers may request a certain amount of square footage or number of bedrooms, but some experts say focusing on these features too heavily can cause individuals to overlook other ways they can use the space. For example, buyers who are looking for a four-bedroom home may pass up a home that has four rooms, only one of those areas may not be classified as a bedroom because it lacks a closet. In these cases, the home may be more affordable and buyers can easily convert the space into a guest room, office or playroom for children.
In addition, square footage may also quickly prompt buyers to turn away. However, utilizing space wisely can make a home appear larger than it actually is. Other time-tested methods, such as using light paint colors, downsizing furniture and maximizing storage space can also make smaller homes look and feel larger. Purchasing a smaller home with all the desired amenities may also save buyers some money in the end.
While most shoppers are looking for homes with top notch appliances and amenities, it may be more cost-effective to conduct renovations yourself as opposed to buying a fully updated home. For example, putting in granite countertops, building a deck and adding a master bath are all projects new homeowners can undertake once you move in. Not only can you potentially save money, but you’ll also be able to add personal touches and customize the home to make it truly yours. The same is true for other DIY features, such as installing a fence or building a garage. When home buyers are shopping for a property, it may be helpful to pay attention to the layout of the home and think of whether they can save money by undertaking these small projects on their own
Buying a home should be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. It is easy to get caught up in finding “the perfect home” but this causes unnecessary stress. Make a list of what is important to you and try to check off as many of those variables as you can. Trust me. Once you move into your house, you will make it feel like a home in no time.
Good luck and happy house hunting!