Home Buying: Separating the Stellar From the Substandard

Home Buying: Separating the Stellar From the Substandard
  • Opening Intro -

    Unless you are opting for new construction, the homes you are looking to buy are already lived in, sometimes for decades, and be perhaps hundreds of years old.


Established homes often have certain characteristics that the current owners like, but may include things that are not acceptable to you.

If those discrepancies are small, such as the carpet color or bathroom wallpaper, you can remake the home yourself and at no great expense to you. If those faults are large such as a rotting deck or an oddly placed sunroof off of the master bedroom, then you’re looking at possible structural changes that will cost you a mint to remedy.

Chances are that there some stellar points that separate homes you like from the substandard including the following.

Bathrooms and Kitchen

There are two rooms in the house that typically make it or break it for home shoppers: bathrooms and the kitchen. While the other rooms of the house must perform as expected, the rooms where you personally care for yourself and where you prepare your meals trump the others.

You have a certain criteria in your mind for what works for both rooms and what doesn’t. For bathrooms, you may require double sinks, a full bath and granite tiles. For the kitchen, your requirements may include granite countertops, steel-faced appliances and a work island. Know that if there is anything in these two areas that is lacking and very costly to update, then you can cross these homes off of your list right away.

The Advantages Over the Disadvantages

There is no perfect home out there. There is always something about a house or a property that you may not like, but is it enough to scratch that home off of your list?

There are certain show stoppers that many homeowners rightfully consider. These include: nearby power lines, a neighborhood halfway house, property that abuts a business or some other overarching negative attribute. Even then the home that backs up to a major highway may not be particularly bad, especially, if the home is located on a bluff with a privacy fence and trees separating the property from the road. It may take a fresh set of eyes and a second look to realize that everything else about the home negates the one flaw.

You Must Have It

Chances are the homes you bought in the past captured your heart. That’s important as you want a house to become a home. Your home.

It has been said that you should never fall in love with a home. That thinking comes because people tend to make irrational decisions about their purchases, but then who is entirely rational when it comes to home buying?

Keep your thoughts about the home to your spouse and your real estate agent, two people that can be entrusted to keep your feelings in confidence. They’ll also help you negotiate with a good head on your shoulders, avoiding overpaying for a home or overlooking certain glaring problems.

There Are No Others

Just as you have decided that a certain home is right for you, you may also have decided that no other homes have the appeal of that one, special home. This is a good place to be especially if you have seen several homes and are ready to make an offer.

Why extend the home search if a home seems right for you? Work with your real estate agent to serve up a competitive offer. Once you agree on a price, then move forward to closing. The home will soon be yours, helping you to end your search on a positive note.

Home Buying Considerations

No two home searches are alike. Indeed, your method for finding a home now may be far different from one you conducted earlier. What it comes down to is finding the house that you like, one that you can turn into your own home sweet home.

See Also — First Time Home Buyer: Not as Easy as HGTV



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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".