Things That Can Make A Home Purchase a Disappointment
When you want to buy a home you may not consider the “small stuff” that I think about while I listen to what is important to you when we meet and look at homes.
Most buyers think about the sales price, the location, how many bedrooms and bath they want and need, yard if often a deal breaker, perhaps mortgage qualification but many times that is still what I recommend before we start looking at homes. Buyers are often ready to look but shy away from getting pre-approved which is the first step of home buying. I point out the size of the garage and ask why kind of cars they plan to park in it, will they fit? What else goes in the garage?
Have you considered commute time to work? How is the rush hour traffic getting home on the side streets? School Zones, School Bus Stops all slow you down. I recommend to do a test drive before you buy so you know what it will be like every day. If you need medical attention in the future check out where hospitals are and how long it takes to get there.
Covenants & Restrictions
Every buyer needs to read the covenants & restrictions before they enter in the purchase agreement because they have to live by those rules. Can’t say you did not know because it is in our contracts that you should read them. It tell you where you can or can’t park, where your trash can goes and how long it can be at the curb. You will have most likely the “Welcome Committee” stop by soon after you closed and make you familiar with some restrictions. Some neighborhoods are stricter than others but you want and need to know what you are facing.
Room for Everyone and Everything?
Whether it will be your trash can in the kitchen or outside in the yard, your pet’s bowls, closets (are they large enough?), Coat Closet in the hall for your convenience, stuff that needs to be stored in the garage, your Christmas decorations, toys and more you may not think about when you fall in love with the high ceilings, open floor plan, gorgeous kitchen and more. Open Floor Plans look great to many but there is less wall space for furniture, less privacy, higher noise levels throughout the home. Cooking smells and grease unless you eat out all the time. There is a lot to be said about a traditional floor plan if you like privacy and keep the noise level down.
Open Floor Plans and High Ceilings look pretty and buyers are drawn to that. Practical is a different story. High Ceilings: Think about maintenance of chandeliers and Ceiling Fans you can’t reach. Sound travels to other parts of the house. Warm air rises and cold air drops. If you have a great room with really high ceilings it may not be very comfortable in cold days in winter or in hot says in the summer. You have to hire a painter to paint rooms with high ceilings or rent scaffolding. If you have windows that high you need a professional to clean them and also service blinds and curtains high up.
Does it fit your life style? Are there children your children’s age? If you downsize is this a community of starter homes with no home owners your age and interests for you to befriend? If you like to walk, sidewalks may keep you safer. Lights in the streets. Recreation or not? Your HOA dues pay for the upkeep for those. How friendly are your new neighbors? I recommend to stop in on a weekend when people are out and maybe in their yards, stop and talk to them about the neighborhood. Do they seem open and friendly?
Does The Position of Your New House Matter?
A house with a light of light is very desirable today. Everyone wants a lot of windows for natural light to come in. But sometimes buyers forget to consider other things such as which side does the sun rise and go down? If your bedrooms are on the West you get pretty warm bedrooms and you may not want that. You like to grill when you get home from work or relax on the patio or in your screen porch? You may not want your backyard facing west because it gets really hot in summer. In South Carolina you need to have blinds to keep the sun rays out of your home. It will discolor floors, carpet and furniture it is that strong. Little things like that can make a big difference in your enjoyment of your new home.
I hear sometimes we have no children and schools don’t matter to us. As long as you know it will matter if for some reason you need to sell, weather it is due to health or other reasons that bring a change to your life. You just never know how long you will live a place. I have experienced it myself and location and schools matter for resale. It helps sell a home better and quicker because most people like to live in good schools and it also opens the market to more buyers for you. My philosophy has always been to buy a home that other people may like and want. Things change in one’s life.
You can see that I think of a lot of things a buyer may not consider as they fall in love with a home they see and want. Some of these things can cause you unhappiness after a purchase because you won’t think of everything when you look to buy. At least this has been my experience. I hope this helps you a little but there is always more depending on the house you like to buy and that is why a REALTOR® with a wealth of information is a good choice to have you represent.
Rosemarie Averhoff, CRS®
Realtor®, Broker Associate®