One thing most first time home buyers need to remember is that there is no such thing as a perfect home. Usually buyers, with modest budgets, believe that they should wait it out until the home of their dreams comes knocking at their door. But no matter how long you wait, getting everything you want is just about impossible. And it often doesn’t help when television decorating shows profile homes that are updated and in perfect condition.
What I tell every first time home buyer is not to ignore a house just because it has a few minor imperfections or needs some updating. What a buyer needs to concentrate on is finding a good home loan, then let the real estate agent handle the rest. There are so many good homes that need some minor repair work that are priced ready to sell. Don’t ignore these great properties when you consider buying a home. Here are some flaws a buyer should overlook.
If sellers knew how much a coat of paint makes a world of difference, then it would make a real estate agent’s job so much easier. But alas, there are sellers out there who refuse to paint their purple living room a nice, neutral color. The good news? It’s a job that buyers can do themselves. This is the cheapest fix you can do, so don’t let someone’s bad taste persuade you to walk away from what could be a great home. Keep in mind that most buyers will end up painting the inside of a house anyway, as everyone has different preferences. A buyer that doesn’t personalize a house in his or her own way is very rare. So when you see a horribly painted room, remember, that it is a weekend fix. Focus on the room’s good points, and imagine it in a tasteful color to your liking.
2. Outdated Wallpaper
Much like a bucket of paint, this is also a fix that a buyer can do. While it may take a little elbow grease to remove old wallpaper, it is not costly and once it’s painted to your taste, you literally won’t believe the transformation. A once dreary room could end up being the most favorite room in the house.
3. Tired Cabinets
The kitchen and bathroom are always the hardest rooms to sell in a dated house. But most first time home buyers don’t have the budget for gourmet kitchens or spa like bathrooms, but changes can be made that don’t cost and arm and leg. Cabinets are the first thing a buyer often notices, but refacing them can be done inexpensively and the difference can be night and day.
4. Wall to Wall Mirrors
Chances are, if you are looking at a 1970’s or 1980’s home that has not been remodeled, you will find mirrored walls where closets are located in the bedrooms. Again, this should not be a deal breaker. These eyesores can be removed and replaced with paint. If you have any concerns about this repair, talk to a contractor or handy man to determine costs. At the very least, you can look this up on the Internet to see what this project entails.
5. Window Treatments
6. Broken Heaters and Air Conditioners
If a minor repair is all that is needed, then don’t let this stop you from purchasing a home. A home inspector should be able to determine if a major repair is needed, but often times, these turn out to be minor. And of course, talk to your real estate agent about asking the seller to make the necessary repairs.
7. Bathroom Updates
It is surprising that older bathrooms can cause a buyer to run out of the house and back in the car to look at the next home. But older homes particularly are dated, with brightly colored tiles or vanity’s made of plywood. Again, these repairs do not need to be expensive. In fact, most home improvement stores offer a variety of products that can transform a bathroom inexpensively. If you have any doubt, visit such a store and talk to one of their sales persons. See what they can offer.
8. Light Fixtures
Dated brass chandeliers or 80’s style lighting above a bathroom sink can be usually be replaced at very little cost. There are light fixtures for every budget and the difference can change a room. When walking through a home it’s hard not to ignore the eyesore fluorescent lighting, but again, remember these are easy changes.
My advice to any first time home buyer is to walk through a Windsor house with an open mind. Updating a home does not have to be expensive and many projects can be done in a weekend. It’s always a shame when buyers assume that a house must be in perfect condition in order to be considered. Chances are, these buyers may never find a home.