When most people set out to find a new house, they aren’t looking for a property that makes them sigh and say: “I guess it’s okay,” or “it’ll do for now.” Homebuyers – especially new homebuyers who may not have ever bought something quite so expensive before – want to find something that resonates with their idea of a dream home. But oftentimes, finding a dream home doesn’t mark the end of the search. Instead, it kicks off a period of soul-searching and anxious deliberation as the would-be buyers ask themselves if the property they have fallen in love with is really as perfect as it appears to be.
All houses have flaws. The trick is to find out if their imperfections are severe enough to pose a problem once you move in. Buyers who want to make sure that their seemingly perfect dream home doesn’t end up costing them far more than they can afford a year or two down the line should check for a property for these red flags before they commit to a sale.
The house might be beautiful – but how are the neighbors? Neighbors who like to blast music late at night, fight loudly during otherwise peaceful evenings, or harangue you for not mowing your lawn to their standards can thoroughly ruin your at-home experience – and you might not be able to spot them during a brief visit. Do your due diligence by visiting at different times of day. Ask the home’s former occupant about the neighbors; while they may not give you an honest answer, the way they react to the question can tell you a great deal.
You Don’t Like the Neighborhood
A gorgeous kitchen won’t make up for a poor atmosphere. Steer clear of homes settled by the municipal dump or airfield. While you might not peg the location as a problem as a visitor, awful smells and sounds will quickly become an issue once you move in.
Unusual Home Layout
Maybe you love the odd room shapes or that one-room second floor now – but will you in five years? Remember to consider every home beyond aesthetics, and think of how it will suit guests and – if applicable – children in the future.
It can be easy to brush off cost when you’ve fallen in love with a property. You figure that you can make a pricy mortgage work if you budget enough and cut out your vacations. But if your financial situation changes for the worse or you find yourself needing to make pricy renovations, that perfect home might just begin to seem like the worst decision you ever made. No house is worth sacrificing your personal life and financial security.