5 Smart Considerations for Every Home Buyer

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Buying a home is the most exciting yet most stressful thing you will ever do; and we all fall into at least one of the major traps that can make our dream house seem like a lot less of a dream. My husband and I built our first home when we were 20 and 21, 12 years ago. We fell into a number of these traps, learned from our mistakes and made the purchase of our dream house 15 months ago a lot more enjoyable. We’ve been in our dream home for 15 months and we still walk through the doors every single day amazed that this amazing home is ours – and we have not found one thing about it yet that we’d want to change for anything (and that’s saying a lot since it’s currently valued at double what we paid for it and we could make a killing selling right now).

In the course of the past decade plus, we’ve learned a few things about what it means to buy a house, what traps to avoid and what you really will regret when you make a few concessions.

Space is Everything

I don’t know about you, but I know what it’s like to have a family of six in a 1,200-square foot home, and it was not fun for those six months. Some people are willing to forgo space for other amenities, but I assure you that you will regret that every single time. We now have living square-footage that is more than three times the size of our first home, and our wooden deck is the actual size of our old home. We cannot live without this space with four kids these days, and sometimes even this feels small when they’re running around.

Location, Location, Location

We had had a dream ‘hood, and we forwent it for a cheaper lot nearby. Were we happy in that house? Very. We brought home four amazing kids there to begin their lives. Did we love the location? No; it was a starter neighborhood, the lots were small and the schools were only all right. Now we are in the neighborhood we’ve dreamed of since we were teenagers, and we are far happier.

Move in Ready is Not A Must

We actually intended on building our second home, too. We even bought the lot and had the plans being drawn up when we found this house. We decided not to buy since we had just welcomed our twins and we needed more space, stat. Our starter home was perfect for a family of four, but a family of six was a new deal. I like perfection and everything my way, but this house was a dream. It was everything – but I hated the landscaping, cabinets and countertops. Was that enough to stop us from buying this house with every single thing we ever wanted in a dream home, in a dream location, exactly where we wanted to live? No; a little work never hurt. Now it’s all done and I’m much happier.

Easy fixes shouldn’t be deal breakers. Floors can be replaced, countertops exchanged, new fixtures added, paint can be done in a moment’s notice and appliances are an easy fix. Look past perfection and you will be so much happier.

Commuting is Not Always Fine

Ask my husband; a long commute is not fine. Ask him when he walks through the door at 5:30 every evening after an hour long commute or when he’s out the door by 6 am if he loves the commute. He doesn’t necessarily hate the commute. He actually enjoys that quiet time without the loving sounds of four loud kids every single day (and I do envy him so much). He also drives a two-seater convertible and we live in Florida, so he gets to drop the top and really enjoy his drive; and he likes it. However, he doesn’t love it and it always makes me worry how far and long he has to drive. I’d much rather live closer to his work than here – but that was our one concession.

It’s Almost Perfect, But Not Quite

Listen, nothing is perfect. When we bought this home, it had everthing; a huge corner lot, bedrooms for all the kids, bathrooms for everyone, a huge kitchen, a massive laundry room the size of an actual bedroom, an office for me, a large master suite, storage closets everywhere, a covered and screened lanai, a wrap-around porch, an 1,100-square foot, 3-level deck and more space that we can ever use. But it only had one sink in the giant master bathroom and all the doors are glass and all the windows are huge and it made me feel very….open. But, that’s one less sink to clean and nothing that some new glass inserts with blinds inside for the doors and customer wooden blinds on the windows wouldn’t fix. Not quite perfect doesn’t mean anything – so don’t look past it.

Photo Credit – Getty Images


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