Updated: 01/25/2017 3:46 PM | Print Story |  Email

What You Should and Shouldn't Compromise On When Buying a Home

Julie and Daniel Desrochers from Desrochers Realty Group and Coldwell Banker Burnet stopped by with an update on the home they purchased to tear down and rebuild. They also shared their advice on what you should and shouldn't compromise on when buying a home.

Here's what Julie and Daniel had to say:

Don’t compromise on:
 
Location:
 
This is probably the most important and the biggest regret we see buyers make when they do compromise on it. You can change a lot of things about a house but you can’t change its location. Whether it’s wanting to be in specific city for amenities and walkability or being within a certain distance to work its important to stay within a location you are comfortable with. 
 
We have had buyers in the past live farther a way from their workplace than they wanted and they think they will be ok with the commute time but realize its longer than they thought and wish they would have moved closer to work as they end up spending a lot of time in the car away from their families. 
 
Other things to consider are location to a busy road, train tracks or high power electrical lines. If you don’t like the sound of traffic and spend a lot of time outside, don’t purchase a house that backs up to a busy road, the noise will end up driving you crazy after a while. These factors are also usually negatives for re-sale. 
 
If you have kids or are thinking about having kids and school district is important make sure you purchase within the school district boundaries you want to be in. 
 
Overall Size and Amounts of Bedrooms/Bathrooms:
 
If you feel you need a 2,500 sqft home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to live comfortably and suite your needs for the time you think you are going to own the house don’t compromise and purchase something smaller or a house that does not have enough bedrooms. 
 
Make sure you are planning for the future if you have one child and plan on having another child and need a 3 bedroom home to accommodate that don’t buy a 2 bedroom home because it has everything else you need. 
If you know you need a master bath and wont be happy with a home that shares a bathroom with kids or guests make sure you only look at homes with master baths even if they are dated as you can always update down the road. 
 
We saw a lot of issues with this in the last market downturn. When the market was up in 2004/2006 timeframe buyers purchased a house that was on the small side then ended up having some kids and realized their house was too small but since the market dropped they were not able to sell there house because they did not have enough equity in it. 
 
Structural Integrity:
 
You want to make sure a house has good bones and was built well, especially when purchasing an older home. If a house has an updated kitchen but you notice 
 
Compromise On:
 
Updates: if you find a house and love the location and the layout but some things in the house are dated you can always update those things as you live in the home and accumulate more funds.  Kitchens and bathrooms can always be updated in the future. Paint, light fixtures and flooring can also be replaced down the road. We have lots of clients who purchase homes where they like the layout and flow but know that in the future they will want to update the kitchen or bathrooms. A great thing about doing this is that since you will be in control of the updating you can pick out the exact materials and finishes you want and really make it feel like your home. 
 
Once you are living in the house you can work on putting away money to do those updates in the future. An upside of buying a fixer upper is as you complete updates to the home you are also increasing the value so adding equity, especially if you can do some of the work yourself. That being said it is important to have a plan for future updates and estimate of what those might cost even if you aren’t planning on doing anything till a few years down the road. Will you need to put $15,000 or $20,000 away to update the kitchen and will you try to live in the house while this is done or do you have somewhere you can stay while the project is being competed, all important things to consider. 
 
Floor Plan (sometimes):
 
Sometimes you can compromise on an open floor plan. If you have been wanting that open kitchen/family room area but just cant find it in your price range, you may be able to find a home with a floor plan that is conducive to opening it up when you remodel. Think Property Brothers. The important thing is to have vision and be open to purchasing a home that may need some remodeling. Make sure you work with a realtor that can help you recognize when you can and cant do this. 
 
Throughout the buying process the important thing is to have a good understanding of what are your must have and a realistic outlook on the things you can compromise on. You may not get that updated beautiful house you want within walking distance to all your favorite coffee shops and restaurants but you can get a home in the same neighborhood that you can work on over time updating and making your own. 
 
If you'd like Julie and Daniel to help you find your next home, contact them here.