First Time Buyers: Tips on How to Look at a House

There are many mistakes that first time home buyers make when they start searching for their house.     One of the biggest mistakes “property virgins” make is looking at the house all wrong.   Many home buyers walk in and have a guttural reaction to things like paint color, tacky wall paper, outdated appliances, bad carpets, etc, etc.  However at the end of the day all of those things can be changed.

First time home buyers need to understand that they are actually buying the house which means they can do whatever they want with the house.  Of course, most people have budgets so it is important to understand what can and cannot be changed within the confines of their budget.

The guttural reaction many first time home buyers have when they walk into a house often taints the way they look at the house.  Any real estate agent can tell you how many great homes have slipped through a client’s fingers simply because the first thing they saw was a paint color or a carpet style they didn’t like.

A first time home buyer should enter a house with the understanding they need to look at the things that can’t easily be changed rather than crossing off a good house simply because the paint color was something they didn’t like.

Every home buyer goes into a house with a “wish list” that includes number of rooms, number of bathrooms, yard size, neighborhood, school system, etc.  These are the things that should be the focus of the buyer’s attention, not the color of the walls or the type of faucets on the bathroom sink.  All of these things can easily be changed!

First time home buyers should also pay close attention to the “bones” of the house.  Is the structure sound?  Are the electrical and plumbing systems up to code?  Are their holes in the roof?  Is the HVAC system new or will it need to be replaced in the near future?   These are the things that are truly important in a home.

Of course most people have a hard time understanding this concept, but honestly it is one of the most important pieces of advice that a first time home buyer can get.  They need to understand that paint can be changed, bathroom faucets can be changed, and even ugly carpets can be changed.   Why disregard a home that has everything else a person needs because of something purely esthetic?

First time home buyers will have a much better go of things if they follow the above advice.   Like the book says…don’t sweat the small stuff!

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