This is a continuation of a series: 10 Common Myths Shared by Homebuyers. See Myth #1 here.
I hate to break the bad news, but there's no such thing as a perfect home. Buying a home ALWAYS requires compromising. When looking at property, there are many things that a buyer might notice that they do not like: wallpaper, paint colors that don't match your décor, dated light fixtures that don't go with your style, the ugly bush outside that needs help and plenty of others. It easy to rule out houses that might require too much work. Once you set a budget, the two major things a buyer should focus on (outside of habitability) is location and floorplan. These two things cannot be changed easily or without huge expense. Everything else can be changed.
I've owned 3 houses that I have lived in, 2 preowned homes and 1 new construction. All the houses, including the new one required my own personal touch.
My first house was built in 1945 and it needed a lot of updating. At the age of 24, the fact that I even was a homeowner was pretty dreamy. Right away, I ripped down the wallpaper, repainted every room and pulled out the blue carpet to refinish the gorgeous hardwood floors. I wasn't able to do everything at one time, but over 2.5 years, I made several improvements including replacing a roof, installing new windows, painting the exterior and installing new floors in the kitchen and baths. Looking back, it was a lot of work, but I have no regrets. I still own this home and it is now a rental.
The new construction house was probably the worst of the three. We ripped out perfectly good carpet to put in hardwood floors. We removed new laminate countertops to replace it with granite. (Don't worry, we didn't waste either and donated both to good causes.) We had to put ceiling fans in all the bedrooms and living room. I had to pay an electrician to run wiring to install a ceiling fan in my office. We had build a fence to contain our 2 dogs. We spent a pretty penny on upgrading our landscaping from the builder blah. Don't forget painting all those walls because I can't stand builder white.
The point is that no matter what house you buy, there will be pros and cons and things that you will want to do. Many things can be done over time. Consider trying to keep an open mind. The perfect house will come at a premium price tag. Accept a home that needs some updating and get a reduced price. You can manage the changes over time and reap the benefits of your improvements when it's your time to sell.
The process is complicated but it doesn't have to be. You can make sure you get as close to perfect as possible with the right real estate professional at your side. The only thing you will get with waiting is frustration. By the time you find the perfect home, someone else may be bidding on it too.
When working with the Charleston Relocation Experts Team, Buyer representation is a FREE service! Call or email Michele Reneau when you ready to have an agent looking out for YOU!
Stay tuned for more myths...
*The series is adapted from the REBAC article published October 2008, 10 Common Myths Shared by First-Time Homebuyers in Today's Buyer's Rep.
Michele Reneau - Military Relocation Specialist with Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, SC.