Top Things to Overlook When Buying a New House

This year, housing shortages are worse than ever. Mortgage interest rates are rising a little bit, and home prices are raising a lot, due to the large demand. You might be sitting yourself down for a serious talk right about now if you’ve been on the housing search for a long time and haven’t gotten anything yet. First-time buyers are especially hurting in this extreme seller’s market.

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Forget buying a house for now. I’ll just wait until market conditions clear up.” For some first-time buyers out there, the hassle and heartbreak might not be worth it.

But I bet you have that nagging voice in the back of your head asking, “what if it doesn’t get better? What if it only gets worse? If I gave up now, would I miss my chance?”

If you decide to take another stab at finding a house, you want to look at homes with a new perspective. I’m here to tell you there are things you can overlook when you decide to purchase a home. And there are things you shouldn’t. Not all potential home buyers know the difference. Maybe your willingness to accept a few things about a house that you don’t like will be the difference between buying a home and renting for a few more years.

What Should You Overlook?

Paint Colors

I can’t tell you how many times potential buyers have been deterred from looking at a home because the paint colors or the color of the trim isn’t to their liking. Paint colors are one of the easiest things to change about a house. Paint is cheap, relatively speaking, and it doesn’t take much skill or time to change.

Curb Appeal

If you are like most buyers now, you are cruising through the pictures on listing sites long before you make an appointment to see a house in person. In fact, many homes are weeded out of a prospective buyer’s list solely based on whether the pictures are nice or not. The curb appeal of your home is easily changed within a year or two, on a small budget. When deciding which houses to see, try basing your decision on the size and location of the house rather than how it looks on the outside.

Old appliances, Carpeting or Light Fixtures

It’s one thing if you’re looking at a home near the top of your price range that needs $100k worth of work before it’s livable. It’s another thing to strike it off the list for having old finishings like carpet, light fixtures or appliances. I understand that it all takes money to replace, but some of these things don’t require much money or skill to replace.

The bottom line is if your home needs cosmetic updates, but everything else is right, (location, size, and fundamental structure) you might be looking at the house of your dreams.

What Do Buyers Overlook (But You Shouldn’t)?

Budget Concerns

Sometimes buyers overlook how much closing costs are going to be when they calculate how much they can spend on a house. Make sure you get this nailed down before you make that offer. You should also take the time to calculate utility costs before you make your offer. Your offer is going to depend on how much you can pay each month. It’s best not to be surprised before getting into a new house, and you can’t assume your utilities will be the same in your new house as they are now.

Resale Value

While some things can be overlooked, what some buyers do is sacrifice what can't be changed in order to get into a house, like a backyard right next to a busy train track. You may tell yourself you don't mind, but you might be surprised what other buyers mind when it's time to sell.

Likewise, there are some things about your new neighborhood you might not know until you live there. Those can’t be changed either. What’s the new neighborhood like at night, for instance? Is there a dog that barks all night two doors down? Do the neighbors fight loudly on weekends or throw wild parties? And what will your commute be like from your new house? It’s a good idea to check these things out before committing.

Takeaway

House hunting season is bound to be tough right now for first-time buyers. Hang in there and try to hold your expectations loosely. If you can look past a few of the things that can be easily changed while being smart about the things you can’t change, you might find yourself with the advantage.

If you are interested in buying a house in Northville, Novi or South Lyon, Michigan, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200