When you go looking at houses, you may see some with features that immediately turn you off. In many cases, though, it’s a good idea to overlook those flaws. You may be able to buy a house in good condition at an affordable price and make some minor, inexpensive repairs.
Potential buyers are sometimes turned off by the seller’s choice of paint. A bright color, a bold accent wall, a mural or stenciling may not appeal to your sense of style, but you can easily cover walls with a fresh coat of paint in the color of your choice. You should just make sure that paint isn’t covering up serious issues, such as mold. The disclosure form and home inspection can shed light on that.
Many older homes have dated kitchens and bathrooms. Outdated flooring and a color scheme that was in vogue decades ago may make you cringe, but you can easily paint the walls and change the flooring. Focus on the size and layout of the room and ask yourself if it would suit your family’s needs and lifestyle.
Doors and Fixtures
A damaged door, outdated lighting and old-fashioned fixtures, such as faucets, doorknobs, cabinet handles, trim and molding, may detract from a house’s appearance, but you should look beyond them. If the house is in good shape, is an appropriate size and has a floor plan that’ll work for your family, you can easily make some cosmetic upgrades.
Curb appeal is generally considered one of the most important factors, since prospective buyers form an impression of a house within seconds. Unattractive landscaping may make you think that a house isn’t worth further investigation, but you may be pleasantly surprised by the interior. If the yard doesn’t have major problems, such as poor drainage, you may be able to spruce up the property by mowing the grass, trimming the bushes and planting some flowers.
Should You Buy the House?
If you can look past cosmetic flaws and recognize a house’s strong points and potential, you may be able to get a property in good condition at a bargain, make some simple upgrades and have the home of your dreams at an affordable price. Some upfront renovations may also help you quickly build equity.
There are some serious issues that you should not overlook. Issues with the roof, electrical system, plumbing and foundation can cause major problems and may be expensive to repair. A home inspection can provide information on these types of issues. If a house has any of these problems, talk to your real estate agent about whether you should request repairs or a price reduction, make a low initial offer or keep looking at other properties.