First-time homebuyers will find shopping for a home an exciting experience, but it is not without some frustrations. Most likely you already have an idea of how you want your new home to look, but finding that exact home may not be possible. You may need to have a vision of what can be done to turn an existing home into the one you want.
Seeing past bad decorating, dingy walls, hideous wallpaper, funky light fixtures, and color schemes that don’t match your taste can sometimes land you the perfect home with great potential, and at a good price.
Only look at homes priced no more than 5 percent above your maximum pre-approved amount. Touring homes priced higher will only set yourself up for disappointment. If you find the perfect home that you love and it is priced outside your budget, you will really be discouraged that you cannot afford to buy it.
If you find a home with a floor plan that isn’t quite to your liking, consider whether or not it could be changed in ways that would suit you. Factor in these costs when deciding if you can afford the home.
Also, consider these features of a home:
- Walls. While walls are one of the easiest things to remedy, they do make a huge first impression when entering a room. If walls need painting, are covered in wallpaper or paneling, or they are painted a color you find distasteful, picture them crisp and clean in the color of your choice, just the way they will look after you paint them.
- Floors. Just like changing the walls to suit your taste and style, old or outdated carpet and other floor surfaces can be easily replaced too.
- View. Things like old, ugly, or just plain dirty windows and window treatments can make the view outside appear less than desirable. However, those things can be easily improved. So, unless the only view you have is of your neighbor’s clunker on the side of the house, don’t get hung up on what is surely a fixable view.
- Landscaping. Your best bet is a moderately landscaped yard because you can always find low cost ways to improve the landscaping. Worst case scenario, even if you’re only looking at dirt, landscaping is one of the more feasible projects to tackle. Just image how you can design it whatever way you’d like when starting from scratch.
- Closets and Garages. You can never have too much storage space, but if you encounter a converted garage that is now a bedroom or family room, don’t despair. Converted garages can almost always be easily converted back to their original purpose.
- Kitchen. The most popular room in the house is the kitchen, and many homeowners want their kitchen to be large and have modern appliances. Don’t let color schemes from the 1970s deter you, however, because there’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make a kitchen your own. Plus, if you like the rest of the house enough to make an offer, you can tackle the kitchen with a minor spruce-up of new appliances, or a major overhaul of new countertops, cabinets, and flooring.
- The Home’s Exterior. If the home you’re looking at doesn’t have the best curb appeal, try to picture it with a fresh coat of paint, change in shutters and/or doors, and some spruced-up landscaping.
- Pools. If you want a home with a pool, buy one that is already built-in, unless you know for sure you will stay in the home for many, many years. The cost of adding a pool runs upwards of $25,000, and paying to add one after you take ownership will never yield a dollar-for-dollar return on investment should you decide to sell in the future. The cost of repairing a pool is less than having a new one installed, and you can negotiate with the seller if the pool is not in perfect working order.
Keep these things in mind when viewing homes for sale and work at envisioning what YOU can do to make the home suit your tastes and lifestyle. Sometimes it may take some work to imagine it the way you want it, but it can be done and it will be worth it in the end!
Contact me anytime to begin YOUR home search! We’ll keep an open mind and find you the perfect and best buy for YOU!