Take your time when looking at a home to avoid drawbacks of the home. While a home may look like “the one” at first blush, you need to carefully consider a home before you buy it. Even better would be before you make an offer on it. In a tight housing market, you may rush to put in an offer without realizing that the home simply will not work for you.
Drawbacks vs Trade-offs
While some homes may have drawbacks, almost all home purchases have trade-offs. Extra parking spaces in the driveway usually means less front lawn. A small backyard means neighboring homes are that much closer to your home. The former is likely a trade-off, whereas the latter is more of drawback.
The Staged Home
You may feel like you’ve stepped into a home right out of Better Homes & Gardens. More likely, you’ve stepped into a staged home. This can range from a few carefully placed items (while the rest are in storage or boxed in the garage) all the way to furniture rented specifically for this home. Look beyond the seemingly endless kitchen counter-tops and picture it with all of your small appliances on it. Is there room for everything? Will the closets in the master bedroom accommodate all your clothes and your shoe collection? Will your king-size bed fit in with the nightstands, dresser, mirror and chest? There is nothing wrong with bringing a tape measure and making sure.
Check the bathrooms for recent work. Pedestal sinks look great, yet they limit your storage in the bathroom. If the sink is over a cabinet, open it and look for evidence of a leak. Pull back the curtain and look for fresh caulking. Is the floor around the toilet discolored? Does it feel soft? Is the toilet bowl loose? Is there air freshener/candles in every room (perhaps to disguise pet smells)?
All of these things can be revealed with a careful home inspection. You can save yourself the trouble and expense by looking out for them as you first look at the home. Sometimes, a leak was a past issue. Ask if it has been professionally repaired before you reject a home out of hand. No home is built perfectly and the market may limit your choices. Keeping your eyes open, and your mind, will ensure that you know what you are buying. It will also avoid disillusion down the road.
Work with a realtor who will be your additional set of eyes and will put his knowledge to your best use. Call or text me at 760 622 5087 or e-mail me at [email protected] Together, we’ll find the right home.