Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Perfect House Verses Compromising

Last night, a young couple that I’ve been working with for several months found a beautiful home in their price range. The kitchen was simply stunning with Shaker style cabinets and a beautiful tile backsplash and floor. Both bathrooms were updated and the hardwoods were in great condition. It was so beautiful that it was easy to overlook that Rt. 490 was in its back yard. The highway was so noisy that we found ourselves yelling at each other in the driveway.




My advice to my clients was to forget the house. Granted, it is unlikely that we will find another house this attractive in their price range but if they buy a house in good condition, they will be able to do the cosmetic improvement and upgrades as their economic situation improves. On the other hand, if they purchase this house, they will never be able to do anything about the highway regardless of how much money they make. From the sullen looks on their faces, I don’t think they liked my advice.



There are almost always compromises involved in buying a house and so I offer the following general guidance for consideration in choosing a property.

Location – While it is possible to pick up a house and move it, it is not very practical. Therefore, I encourage clients not to compromise on location. If you’re not wild about having a gas station next door, chances are good that neither will future home buyers when you go to sell the house.

Layout – It is possible to tear out walls or build on an addition, but it’s not cheap. When you are shopping for a house, take time to assess the layout. Are there enough bedrooms and baths? How’s the traffic flow? Does the kitchen have a good design and room for storage?

Mechanicals - When I bought my first home, the first major improvement was to install a liner in the chimney. It was expensive and I couldn’t even see it. There just was no inviting people over to see my new chimney liner! Eventually, everything in a house wears out. Roofs, furnaces, windows all have to be replaced from time to time. When home shopping, assess the mechanicals and be very conscious of their lifespan and cost to replace.

Cosmetics – Everyone falls in love with a beautiful home, myself included, and so it is difficult to convince buyers that this should be their last consideration and first item to compromise on. Think about it. If you had $10,000 to spend on your home would it be more fun to pick out roof shingles or kitchen fixtures? Almost every house can be made attractive, especially if you paid attention to layout. And if you don’t feel that you have the talent or vision to make your home beautiful, there is an abundance of good designers in the Rochester area.

Again, I point out that these considerations are very general and there are special circumstances. Buying a house is a big decision.  Hopefully, you can find a house that is perfect in every way.  But if not, be very aware of what your compromises are.



Mary Shelsby

ReMax First

585-756-7457
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