Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lessons in House Hunting

So here is the thing. We have been officially house hunting for 3 weeks with our realtor. Now China Man has been been browsing realtor.com for months and months. So believe me when I say that I seen hundreds of pictures of houses. And I am not someone who likes to look at houses. My two best friends are those people. They both tell me they enjoy browsing online to see the houses, how people decorate and what is available. Honestly, when I am not actually in the market for a house. I just do not care. I have my house, why would I need to look at other houses? Even as it is, I would probably buy the first house I looked at if it wasn't for China Man. Well that is not true, because the first house we looked at was dreadful. At this point we have looked at 6 houses. We almost made an offer on one house, but decided it would place us in a place financially we prefer not to be. We have looked at a house today that we really like, but it would definitely require some elbow grease to bring it to this century and it is literally in the middle of nowhere. So we will see.

Anyways since I am such a seasoned house hunting pro, I thought I would share some of my observations and tips for future sellers out there.

Tip #1
   Don't leave a dead bird on the front deck. That happened today, and honestly the owners have not lived there all winter so it really was not their fault. However... that is not the image I want walking into your home.

    Find a really creative photographer to take your real estate photos.  When we pull into some of these houses, I just am speechless at the difference in the actual house compared to the pictures. The pictures present a spacious, clean, nice home. Then I walk into... well the opposite. The one house today was even a different color than the pictures! Because turns out the outside of the house was two colors, and naturally that might not be a selling point so the realtor did not post the pictures of the red and yellow angles. Smart man. When we pulled in, I basically told China Man to just turn around.

   When your realtor says you need to de-clutter your house. Just believe them. How am I supposed to believe this house is the size you claim it is, when your living room has 3 rows of furniture?

And here are just some general observations/questions about home ownership in general...

When you are remodeling your home, and you decide to pick out a new sink for your bathroom or kitchen. What goes through someone's mind when they decide bright orange, bright pink or bright blue is the best color for their sink and tub? I am not an interior decorator in any shape and I try to keep an open mind... but please explain that one to me.  ( side note, I tried to find some pictures on pinterest of bright orange or pink sinks, they did not have any that portrayed what I have seen)

I have learned I am not a wall paper person. Some people are, and I clearly am not one of them. Some of these houses have so much wall paper. I am a paint or exposed wood kind of person.

This is the kind of look that I love in a house. Believe me this is not the norm in Maine, in our price range.

I have also learned that when looking at houses, especially when you are on a firm budget. You really need to channel your inner Joanna Gaines.
Do not just see what is in front of you, but also see the potential. What can you do to fix the place up to your style? When China Man and I look at a house, we first look around and scope the place out. He looks at all the practical things and I look at details like will this place be a death trap for my babies, where will my treadmill go and how small is the kitchen. Then if we actually like the place we start talking about how we will change it. Sorry current homeowners, but the bright blue birdhouse wallpaper just is not my jam. Then for the health of our marriage, I start getting realistic time lines of projects. Painting the entire house would be done by when? And the next important project would be what? China Man knows me and he knows I take his responses as set in stone so this is when real negotiations start.  Our poor realtor, she probably thinks that we are absolutely ready to buy a house when we do that but not necessarily. It just means we are seriously considering.  Either way, I think it is helpful to see past the decor or styles you don't like and not to rely on your realtor to tell you how you could potentially decorate it. Have a little creativity, and if that fails, watch Fixer Upper.

Lastly and most importantly. Find a realtor that you can work with and will listen to you. While selling our old house, we worked with the most incompetent real estate agent. Almost all of our interactions ended with me in angry, frustrated tears. This time we actually met with a few agents to get a feel for them and how we would mesh together. I love our current agent. I think we have a great working relationship.

So that is just some thoughts and questions about house hunting. Happy Tuesday Friends.

Linking up with these FABULOUS ladies today:

 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Christina at Waltzing In Beauty | Pinterest | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram  
Whitney at Polka Dotty Place | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

1 comment:

  1. My daughter and son-in-law are in the process of looking for a home. My daughter is fairly easy to please, but my son-in-law is particular in what he wants. I think that is a good balance to not buy a house they are "settling on", but realizing as first home buyers it may not be their "dream home", but to see it's potential.

    Thanks for sharing your insights related to buying and selling a home. :-)