What To Consider First When Home Shopping

What To Consider First When Home Shopping

Purchasing real estate is like dating—it’s both a logical and emotional decision.


If you think back to the time when you were in college, you had all these ideas about the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. If you thought logically about it, you may have said you valued character, common interests, personality — the things in a person that are relatively stable.


But then you saw the person you thought was the one. Her hair was just right. So was the makeup. She was looking good, and you fell head over heels. Only to find out after a month that the beauty was only skin deep. She can change her hair, makeup and clothing. But the most important things about her are things that aren’t likely to change.


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The same is true for home buying. It’s easy to fall in love with the paint color, the living room furniture, the smell of the air freshener and the petunias in the garden, then forget all about the bigger stuff — the things you can’t change. After writing the biggest check of your life, you move in and realize you love the paint color but hate the location of the walls.


Unfortunately, you can’t break up with a house as easily as you can with a person. So you have to make sure that you love the things that you can’t change. You’ve got to train yourself to see beneath the skin and see the true potential in a home.


Before you begin seriously shopping, decide what’s important to you in major features that are either impossible or very costly to change, including floor plan, square footage, size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, the size of the garage, location, and neighbors. Yes, neighbors. Because you can’t change them. Seek to compromise as little as possible on these issues.


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The next tier of consideration consists of structural issues — things that may cause a home to fail inspection. These can be changed, but oftentimes they require significant cost and effort. Look out for evidence of do-it-yourself electrical wiring and outdated panels, wear to the roof, old appliances, an aging heating and air conditioning system, cracks in the garage floor, water leaks and mildew/mold, and noise in the plumbing. (That’s right, flush the toilets.)


Finally, there are the things that don’t matter. These are the things that are either free or cheap to change. Yes, they make a significant difference in the “feel” of a home (or the way you feel about it). But they’re cheap things to fix, so make it a weekend project when you settle in. These include décor, paint color, window dressings, and the petunias in the garden.


Consider it your mission both to see a home’s inner beauty and to detect its hidden flaws. Value the things that can’t be changed and learn to look past what can.


Did we leave anything off the list? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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Phone: 706-202-9437
Dated: November 6th 2017
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