Looking for a new home can be a challenge, especially when you walk into a for-sale home and 20 years of the current owner’s lives are on display—and you really have to use your imagination to see how you can possibly make the home “yours.” Several people may choose to remodel and stage their homes prior to putting it on the market, but then there are many people who choose to sell their current home “as is.” Although a turnkey home is ideal for people who are just looking to move in right away and make no changes, there are those “time warp” homes that are actually incredible gems that just need some TLC.
As you step into each home on your house hunt, here are some things to consider about a for-sale home that you should “ignore” as you search for your new dream home:
An ‘older’ home: Old isn’t always synonymous with bad. Some homes built decades ago have stood the test of time because they were built with solid, quality materials and have a classic style. Don’t always assume that new equals nicer. Some newer homes are “affordable” because they were cheaply built. Remember that there are many simple fixes for dated homes, and the plus side of an older home is the charm and character you can’t find in a new build.
Paint colours: Ignore the existing paint choices in the homes your looking at and focus on the structure of the rooms, the placement of the windows, etc. Paint is an incredibly easy and a cheap fix in a home and something you can change in just a couple hours.
Ugly wallpaper: Remember that wallpaper can easily be replaced or covered up. So no matter how design-challenged the walls seem to look—it’s an easy fix.
Kitchen appliances & accessories: The kitchen is the heart of the home, and often, the appliances aren’t going to live up to your dreams. As long as you have a room in your budget, or a timeline to replace the existing appliances, a seller’s yellow fridge shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
Ugly carpet: Flooring options are getting more diverse, and there are now so many low-cost options that look exactly like their higher-priced counterparts. Don’t walk away from a great house just because you’re not a fan of what you’d be walking into.
Interesting smells: Except for a serious mould problem, there’s nothing a deep cleaning can’t fix. Plug your nose and focus on the home’s bones and the potential it has when you give it your own touch.
Curb appeal: If you’re not saying “wow” when you first arrive at a home, that’s OK. Close your eyes and envision a different coloured front door and some new landscaping, this might help you envision the house as your new home.
Popcorn ceilings: if you don’t like the popcorn ceilings in your new home, no worries. A ceiling specialist can come in and have it all scrapped off. Just make sure you have it done before you move in—it is a messy job.
No privacy: if the home feels too exposed and lacks privacy from next door—you can fix that. Remember, “hedges make great neighbours.”
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