By Ann Brenoff
Buying your first home can be scary. All those concerns you have about money
are quite legitimate, and the mortgage process can be confusing. On top of
that, you want to make sure the house fits you.
But some of the things that first-time homebuyers worry about really don’t matter. Here are five issues that shouldn’t factor into choosing a home:
Your dining room table or couch doesn’t fit.
Furniture that doesn’t work in your new home can be sold or can be given to the charity thrift store and, at least for now, will produce a nice tax deduction. If you really like your dining room table, you could store it. While this is your first house, it likely won’t be your last, so if the table doesn’t fit in this house, maybe it will in the next one.
The walls are painted hideous hues.
First-time prospective buyers are often guilty of seeing things only as they are, instead of seeing what they could be. Force your eye to view the potential, not the purple walls.
In general, look past the things that can be easily changed and focus on what can’t be so easily undone. The top three things you may wish you could change but can’t are noise, view and natural light ― although skylights help.
The decor reminds you of Grandma’s place, and not in a good way.
Without question, some homes are dated. But remember, when the sellers move out, they’ll take their stuff with them. Don’t worry about the well-worn recliners and dusty drapes, and instead get some quotes on how much it will cost to remodel the kitchen and update the bathrooms. Those are the rooms where updating will cost you.
You’ve met the kitchen of your dreams.
Cool your jets! Even Remodeling Magazine thinks you’re behaving impulsively. So what does that tell you about what’s important in evaluating a house? Infrastructure matters. New roofs, new plumbing and new electrical systems ―whether the former owners install them or they’re your first project ― will likely serve you better than a recently remodeled kitchen. Don’t fall for the eye-candy.
You don’t have children.
A house is more than just a place to live. It’s also an investment, probably the largest one you’ve made to date. It’s smart to think not only of your current situation, but also your potential life changes and what prospective buyers will be looking for when you go to sell this house down the road ― and that means schools.
In a 2013 Realtor.com survey of nearly 1,000 prospective homebuyers, 91 percent said that the quality of the schools was important in their search. So even if you don’t believe you’ll be sending your own kids there, a good local school system could be money in your budget ― for that next home.
Adapted from a blog on HuffingtonPost.com.