Many first time home buyers go into the market looking for the home of their dreams. They picture a house filled with their favorite furniture, illuminated by plenty of natural lighting, and highlighted by bright and cheery wall colors.
While it’s good to have aspirations for your new home, it’s also important to remember that the house you’re buying is essentially a box. Sure, you’ll put plenty of nice things in that box, but ultimately you want to make sure it’s a sturdy box that’s in good shape before thinking about the contents.
When shopping for a new home, here are some things you shouldn’t let influence your decision.
Walls and carpets
It can be off-putting when you go and view a home and the walls are covered in antiquated wallpaper or painted a color you can’t stomach. It can also be hard to ignore, since the walls make up such a large, visible portion of the house. Instead, try to envision the room with the walls painted the colors you would use.
If a home has a carpet that looks straight out of the 70s it can definitely be a distraction and give you trepidations about the house. However, just like walls, this is a relatively simple fix if you have the budget for it. Imagine how the room would look with hardwood floors, tile, or a carpet that’s more to your liking.
An unkempt yard
The first thing you see when arriving at a house is the yard and driveway. Maybe the grass hasn’t been mown in a while, the mulch is looking faded and there are weeds growing up along the walkway. These are all aesthetic problems that can be easily and, if planned correctly, inexpensively fixed.
A good rule is to determine if the parts of the yard you dislike can be cleaned up in a few afternoons or if they would require a lot of time and money.
It feels like someone else’s home
Viewing a home can be awkward. If the seller still lives in the home you might feel like you’re intruding. In some cases, they could even be at home while you’re viewing the house. As you walk through the home, be sure to remind yourself that if you lived here the picture frames would have your family photos in them instead.
Similarly, if the seller has (to put it nicely) a “different” taste in decoration it can seem distracting and off putting. Fortunately, they’ll have to take all their decorations with them when they move–even that wall mounted deer head in the living room.
Decide based on these factors instead
Now that we’ve talked about the things to ignore, here are the details you should look for when shopping for a new home.
- Size. The size of the home, the rooms, the yard, and the driveway will all be a huge factor in your decision.
- Architecture. Take note of how the home was built and if there are certain architectural aspects that you love or hate.
- Windows and lighting. Natural lighting is an oft overlooked feature that really enhances the atmosphere of a home.
- Plumbing and electrical. Make sure you’re happy with the condition of the home’s HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems because these will be time consuming and expensive upgrades.
- Kitchen and bathroom features. Look for a home that has the kitchen and bathroom design elements you love, the space you need, and the features you desire (appliances, shower type, sink type, etc.)