When you’re looking at homes, it can be hard to be objective. After all, since you’re paying so much money, it’s only natural to want a home that’s totally perfect for you.
That said, sometimes, it pays to be blind-ish. In this crazy market with limited inventory, not every home issue should be a dealbreaker.
Don’t miss out on your perfect home by paying too much attention to these five things that don’t really matter on your next house tour:
1. The decor or home staging
We get it -- sometimes the seller’s choice of decor is the first thing to jump out at you when you enter a home. And, sometimes, it could not be further from your own personal tastes. That said, it’s crucial that you learn to look beyond these surface level decorations. Otherwise, you may just end up missing out on the perfect home.
Why? Put simply, you’ll never have to see it again.
If you decide to buy the home, the sellers will be required to remove all their personal belongings -- questionable decor included -- before they hand over the keys. Remember, you’re buying the house itself, not the belongings inside. Make sure that remains your focus as you walk through an open house.
2. Paint & wallpaper choices
While a home’s paint and wallpaper will stay behind after the sellers leave, no matter how bold the style statement may be, we suggest doing your best to ignore it during your showing. Paint is actually one of the easiest things to change about a home -- and one of the most affordable. Wallpaper may take a little more elbow grease, but it’s still a fairly simple change.
Think of it this way: instead of trying to mold your aesthetic with the seller’s design choices, choosing a new paint color will give you the opportunity to really make the home your own & to put your own personal stamp on the property.
3. Small fixtures & hardware
Smaller fixtures in the home -- like lights, cabinet knobs, and ceiling fans, for example -- may not match up perfectly with your style. But, they’re not doing any harm either. Once you move in, these things can easily be replaced immediately or put on a to-do list to tackle in the future. Consider it part of your home maintenance.
4. Kitchen and bathroom design
Ideally, we’d all love to buy a house that includes our dream, gourmet kitchen and en-suite bath. However, that may not always be possible right off the bat. That doesn’t mean, though, that you’ll never get what you want. If the rest of the house works well for you, consider taking the kitchens and bathrooms as-is and planning on a renovation down the road.
Right now, your focus should be on the functionality of these areas rather than aesthetics. Are there enough bathrooms to support your entire family? Does the kitchen layout work for your cooking style? Will you have enough space in both areas to move around efficiently?
These are the factors that will determine how well the home will work for you on a day-to-day basis. Things like the color of your cabinets or whether or not you have a double sink can be changed over time.
5. An unfenced yard
A lot of pet owners rank having a fenced-in yard high on their must-have lists. But, don’t be so quick to dismiss homes without one. After all, a fence is absolutely something that can be put up once you move in, or later on down the road. In many areas, you don’t even need a permit to put up a fence, as long as it meets local height and setback restrictions.
Instead, it’s important to look at whether or not the backyard has the potential to be fenced at a later date. If the rest of the house works for you, it’s still worth your consideration.
Touring a home isn’t just about aesthetics. In today’s hot market, you might not get another look before making an offer. If you’re seriously interested in a home, we’ve got even more tips on what to look for in your home tour.