As a buyer, we're sure you've researched every home you've liked extensively. You know the crime rate, the school district, the distance from home to work, and the list goes on and on. But just like a dating website, you won't find out the hidden quirks by just scrolling through the internet! To really get to know (and love) your future home, here are some things to look out for that you may not have considered.
- Don't just visit the home once. Sure, it's love at first sight, but just like you (probably) wouldn't marry someone after the first date, you shouldn't buy a home you've only seen once. If possible, visit the home during different parts of the day. Daytime living may be easy, but evenings may bring loud neighbors or heavy traffic.
- Will the home feel as amazing after you've been away? In love, absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder. It should be the same way with your home. If you would dread coming back home from a relaxing trip, it may not be the place for you. Most homes can't live up to a gorgeous vacation spot, but it should still feel like your own personal oasis.
- Communication is KEY! How long could you stand to be with someone who you couldn't communicate with? Chances are, not very long. Living in a home with bad cell phone service may not be as big of a deal breaker, but you'd still want to know. When visiting the home, call, text, or surf the web on your phone just to see what the service is like.
- Bathroom habits. No one really likes to talk about it, but it's still a topic that's eventually going to come up. In dating, that can take awhile, but in home buying it shouldn't. Check the water pressure in the shower, turn on the sink, and flush the toilet. Some people may not care, but it's still nice to see how things will work when you're living there.
- Do your research! You wouldn't invite someone you've just met into your home without doing a little digging first and that rule applies to home buying as well. Check out the neighborhood, ask around. A red flag may be lurking around and you wouldn't know it because you didn't do your research.
- Be prepared for danger zones. In dating, you know the deal breakers that will send you running for the hills and the issues you don't like, but can live with. The location of your home may have issues you don't like but are willing to live with, but you should inform yourself of the potential danger zones you may encounter. Depending on where you live, some dangers may include flooding, wild fires, frequent storm damage, etc. These dangers could affect your insurance and cause your payments to go up significantly.
- Perfect is just an illusion. More often than not, that gorgeous, too-good-to-be-true date has some pretty icky things buried beneath those good looks. Sometimes the person who doesn't always look the best has the best personality. It's what is on the inside that counts. But what does this have to do with real estate? EVERYTHING! You are probably not going to walk into a home and it be everything you are looking for. The paint color may not be your taste and the carpets may be ugly, but if the layout is great and the home has good bones, paint and flooring are easy fixes in the grand scheme of things.
- Be invested for the long haul. Dating is great and fun, but it's not something most people want to do forever. The main goal of dating is to find someone to marry and build a life with. Buying a home is the same thing. House hunting is fun and can be exciting (sometimes even heartbreaking), but the goal of house hunting is house buying. Take your time, do your research, be invested. After all, your home is the place you will build your life. Have fun, but be serious.