We all want to purchase our dream home, but there’s unfortunately no such thing. Regardless of your budget, there’s no “perfect” house. Every home has issues, quirks, and cons. Even if you build a house, you’re going to encounter problems. From a buyer’s perspective, the key is to differentiate between the deal-breakers and the things that don’t matter.
Importance of the Home Inspection
When you put in an offer on a house, the offer should always be contingent on a home inspection from a certified professional. A home inspection is beneficial for a number of reasons. First off, it helps you understand the true condition of the property – not just what the seller wants you to see. Secondly, it gives you negotiating power in the transaction. Third, it provides an opportunity to proactively address repairs prior to closing.
The only downside to a home inspection is that it makes you acutely aware of every little issue. If you’re a perfectionist – or are set on finding a turnkey home that requires no work – you might find it difficult to go through with a transaction after seeing some of the problems outlined as part of the inspection. However, it’s important that you avoid this tendency.
While there are problems that justify pulling an offer, there are also plenty of smaller issues that shouldn’t turn you away. Many problems are fixable and you can improve your home search if you’re willing to take care of them yourself.
8 Issues That Shouldn’t Scare You Off
So long as you’ve gotten a home inspection and are able to check off all of the major boxes – like HVAC, electrical, roof, and foundation – you can go into a purchase with some peace of mind. There’s no reason to let the following issues scare you off:
- Bad Style
Unless you’re trained to look at a house and see the potential, it’s easy to get sidetracked by simple cosmetic problems and design issues. Bad furniture, horrendous wall art, dated rugs, and tacky knickknacks…it’s hard to see through the mess and picture what a house would look like with your own style – but you must!
Bad style is the easiest thing to fix. The seller is going to take everything that they own with them, which leaves you with a blank slate. The sooner you recognize this, the better your search will be.
- Obnoxious Paint Colors
One of the first things you’ll notice upon walking into a house is the color scheme. If a house has obnoxious paint colors – like bright oranges and greens – you’re naturally going to be turned off. Thankfully, this is a purely cosmetic problem. Paint can be covered up very easily and you’ll never have to deal with those tacky colors again.
- Ratty Carpet
While you’ll probably notice a home’s furniture and paint colors immediately upon walking inside, it may take a little while for you to look down at your feet and notice the carpet.
Carpet doesn’t age particularly well – especially if a homeowner has pets. When you examine the carpet more closely, you may notice stains, rips, and excessive wear. While you should definitely bring this up with the seller and use it in your negotiations, don’t let ratty carpet be a deal-breaker. Carpet can be replaced fairly easily and inexpensively – especially if it’s just one or two rooms.
- Dated Kitchen
A dated kitchen can be a major eyesore, but it’s also something you can fix. In fact, fixing the kitchen yourself – rather than asking the seller to update it – provides you with an opportunity to add serious value to your new home. The ROI on a kitchen remodel often exceeds 100 percent.
- Cramped Living Area
There’s no question about it – open floor plans are “in” today. If you’re looking at older homes, then it’s quite possible that the floor plan will be choppy and closed off, but be wary of immediately discounting these listings. In some cases, interior walls can be removed to open up space and make the floor plan flow better.
- Poor Landscaping
First impressions are everything in the home buying search, which is problematic when you pull up to a house and notice terrible landscaping. But instead of putting the car in reverse, blot this out of your mind and look at the rest of the house. Landscaping is something that can be fixed with a few days of manual labor.
- Minor Water Damage
“When water saturates interior building materials, like drywall, it can look pretty bad. You are unlikely to miss such damage as you wander through the house,” real estate pro Bill Gassett notes. “Fortunately, the home inspector is not going to miss the signs of water damage either, and he or she can tell you the severity of the problem. If the water has caused significant damage, the inspector will let you know, and you can request appropriate repairs. But if the water damage is merely cosmetic, don’t stress about it. You can fix cosmetic stuff later.”
The key here is to discuss the damage with your inspector. Don’t try to make a judgment call yourself. Most water damage is easily fixable, but there are cases where it can be a symptom of a much larger issue.
- Anything Under $100
In a seller’s market, you don’t have a ton of leverage when it comes to small issues and repairs. While you can certainly make reasonable requests in regards to big problems, don’t get caught up in asking the seller to fix every single issue. As a rule of thumb, any problem under $100 should be your responsibility.
Contact Green Residential Today
The Houston real estate market is booming and we would love to help you find the home of your dreams. Whether you’re buying or selling, we can provide the local expertise you need to maximize your dollars and peace of mind. For more information on how we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!