Don’t Worry About Minor Cosmetic Issues
You might walk into the bedroom and think to yourself, “Why on earth would someone choose to paint this room such a disgusting colour”, or seeing the kitchen and thinking, “The backsplash on those counters is super ugly”. Time and time again we see people passing up on what would otherwise be their perfect home just because of a few aesthetic issues that could be easily renovated once the house is yours. People will often choose houses that are much worst just because the paint colour or furniture suits their tastes more.
This is why when buying a house it’s of vital importance to use your imagination. For the things you can change like furniture and paint colour, you need to imagine your dream interior design over what’s actually in front of you. What’s far more important to consider is the actual layout and architecture of the house and the rooms. It requires far more time, energy and money to renovate or rebuild a house than to repaint or get new furniture. Keep this at the forefront of your mind when inspecting houses that you’re considering purchasing.
When looking at properties there are three key things that are the most important to consider:
- Location. This is something you’re stuck with when you buy a property, so you better make sure you like it and have done your background research on the area. Is it next to a busy street? Does it have parks and good schools if you’re a parent? Is it important to you to be close to the city or would you rather be out in the suburbs? Keep this in mind, and if the location does not meet your standards be prepared to move on.
- Floor-plan. The floor-plan can be changed if you have the money, but it really depends on the situation. If the house is located in a great area but the house is subpar and you don’t like the floor this is definitely worth considering. Especially if the house is selling for under the standard market price. However, if it’s not then you can spend large amounts of money redesigning your house to how you’d like it, just to have your property value remain the exact same. In this case, it is probably much better to move on. Especially considering the amount of time you will have to wait before your new home is ready to live in.
- Cosmetic Issues. It makes lots of sense to choose a house where you love the location and floor plan, but dislike certain aspects of rooms. For example, to renovate a kitchen exactly how you want it may cost $10k-$20k to get it perfect. A brand new paint job can cost $1k and 1 weekend of your time. Compare that to a full-blown renovation and you can clearly see the value.
When you visit a property you only see it at a certain time of day. It’s important to visit your potential new home at different times of the day and the night because what could at times be a peaceful neighbourhood street could turn into a gridlock of traffic at rush hour or on Friday and Saturday nights.
Direction apps will try and offer short cuts to get you to places as quick as they can, and this is creating traffic problems in otherwise quiet suburban streets. Generally, you’ll be fine and when you check later you’ll confirm your beliefs that this is a quiet, peaceful area. But there’s nothing worst than deciding you don’t need to check and then once you have bought the property you are terrorised all day and all night.
Again, this highlights the importance of going at different times. The most obvious issue here is the people in their early 20s who want to party all day. This can be seen by just driving past on a Friday and Saturday night. However, there are other problems to be aware of. For example, someone who plays drums and families that get into shouting matches. Whilst these are hard to vet out before possible, you can always talk to the current home owners and they will generally be honest with you about any questions you might have. Sure, you get the occasional person who is willing to lie to sell their house, but they are the vast minority.
Commute Times and Public Transport Options
It’s important to work out your commute times so you know how congruent your new house is with your current work. Commuting is something most people have to do 5 days a week, so even an extra 15 minutes of commuting time in the long term adds up.
The other thing to consider is public transport. Even if you don’t need it, if you have children or teenagers you may want them to get their own way home from school at some point. Planning these things ahead will give you a much better perspective and confidence that your new house is the right fit.
Do Inspections and Get It Inspected By Your Real Estate Agent
Inspections are necessary to make sure the house in proper order. However, what’s even more useful is getting a real estate agent to do a thorough inspection with you. They will point out many things you don’t know and you can ask questions to them as you go.