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  • Writer's pictureJoel Guyer

How to Get the Best Value in a New Home

Starting out on a home buying journey is exciting. So exciting, in fact, that people may overlook some very important things in their search and soon find themselves looking to upgrade long before it should be necessary. Don’t get sucked up in the excitement of home buying. Follow these three, very simple guidelines and it will help make sure you end up with the home of your dreams that will remain your dream house for years to come.

Determine Your Dealbreakers While Considering Long Term Needs

Long before taking a step out the door to look at a new house, or even looking online at listings, you should do one thing first: determine what will be dealbreakers in your home search. These things include the setup of the home, do you like open living spaces, or prefer a more traditional room setting? Do you like modern architecture or Cape Cod style? Do you need to live near a particular area for work or school reasons? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you actually need? Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking in the “now”. Consider what you and your family will need for at least the next five to ten years. Keeping in mind how much space you will need, or even want over that time will help ensure you only search for homes that will remain your dream house long into the future.

Keep Your Eyes Open on the Drive Up

Curb appeal is a real thing, and it means a lot in the overall impression of a house when buyers are looking at it. However, new home buyers are often so excited to get to a place that promises benefits they are looking for specifically, that they rush in, and forget to take a good look around at the property that surrounds their new prospect. Home sellers are hyper-focused on getting their houses in shape for a sale. They clean out rooms to get rid of clutter. Slap a coat of paint on old walls. Put up new blinds. Make sure there’s no dust on shelves and tables. All good things to do when selling a house, but they will have a harder time cleaning up real neglect on the outside.

Take a good look around the front yard of a home when arriving to inspect it. Look for clutter, holes, poor or neglected landscaping. While some of these things may be forgivable, and something that can be remedied by a little elbow grease post-sale, they are also indications that the prior owner didn’t work on keeping up with them too. What they didn’t do on the outside, could be an indication of things they didn’t do on the inside, or that they covered up on the inside to hide neglected spots. Don’t stop at the front either. Walk around the outside of the house and check out the sides and back yard if applicable.

Don’t Sweat the Cosmetics of a Home

Whether or not a buyer has fixed up areas of the house inside or out, don’t sweat the color or style choices of easily changed cosmetics. Even unusual wall colors can be solved by a new coat of paint and in most cases can be done easily by yourself if you prefer. If the seller has replaced older curtains or drapes with blinds, but you prefer plantation shutters, that’s a simple fix. Of course, it’s great if you love all the eye appeal on the inside where cosmetic choices are involved, everyone wants to be able to feel like the home is perfect for them just as is, but don’t let that override the overall value of the house if it meets all your needs.

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