It happens every few weeks. I turn on House Hunters (yes, I know it's allegedly fake, let me be) to watch lucky couples pick out some real estate, and within minutes I'm sighing in frustration and yelling at the screen. "I'm not crazy about this red," whines one young wife, "I hate that chandelier," says her husband. Do you see what I'm driving at? They're focused on all the wrong things!
While there are tons of very important things to check when you're buying a home (we tell you all about those right here), there are some that shouldn't enter into your decision process at all! Why? Because they are so easily fixable. So take stock, take a breath and remember to look past these potential problems.
1. Paint color — Sure, a hideous red wall may be the first thing you notice when entering a room, but it's also the easiest thing to change. One hundred bucks, a weekend and you won't even remember your horrific first impression.
2. Furniture/ Style — It's hard to even think about loving a home when you hate the style of the decor, but guess what, lucky ducks? That decor is leaving with the old owners! Don't sweat it!
3. Architectural details (or lack thereof) — Have your heart set on crown molding? Hate that the walls are covered in wood paneling? Those things are so E-A-S-Y to add or remove.
4. Light — No one likes to enter a cave when they were expecting a living room, but take a careful look at why there's no light before you dismiss a house completely. More often than not, hedges or trees are blocking the windows and a little landscaping outside might completely change the feel inside. Note: tiny, prison-like windows are another story. They're still fixable, but might take a little more work and cash to get what you want.
5. Current layout of the home — Don't forget that the whole "which room is used for what" thing is very easy to switch up. It's easy to fixate on how a space is currently laid out, but notice the bones of each room, not what it's currently being used for, to determine if it will work for you.
Now that you're all relaxed, a note on the one thing you should worry about: a dirty house is not a happy house. Not messy (although if someone is showing their house, one hopes they would straighten up), but dirty. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you notice signs that the current owner is not properly maintaining their home, you can bet that it only gets worse below the surface.
Edited from a post originally published 11.20.13 -JL
(Image credits: Leah Steen's Lovely Garden)