Here are three serious considerations to evaluate before you determine whether to pursue a home purchase.
The old real estate cliché doesn’t name this quality as tops for nothing. Unless you plan to take a unique or historic home off its foundation, you can't change location. If a home is on a busy intersection, across from a shopping plaza, or within earshot of the freeway, take major note. That home will always be valued at significantly less than a similar home nearby. Unless you’re willing to sacrifice to get into the school district or neighborhood of your dreams, keep looking. Once you snag a good location, nobody can ever take that away from you.
home with a tiny kitchen closed off from the rest of the house is much less desirable today than a large one that opens up to the family room or great room. Think you can just transition that closed-off kitchen into an open plan that allows people to spill over into the adjacent room while still being connected to the "action" at entertainment central? Think again.
Making this change, while not impossible, would likely require lots of resources and a major construction budget. Modifying the layout of a home requires architectural drawings, knocking down walls, and installing beams to carry wider loads. This type of major renovation isn’t for the faint of heart, and an undesirable layout will always reduce the value of the home. If you've fallen in love with certain aspects of the home, but a particular part of the floor plan is flawed, you’d better move on.
Antique homes built centuries ago are known for being sited right by the road, and typically on busier roads. Why? Because back in the day most people walked or took a horse-drawn carriage, so it was easier to be closer to the street than at the back of the lot. Fast forward 300 years and some buyers, while in love with the unique history and charm of an old home, prefer the privacy and quiet of a home set at the back of the property.
Homes on corner lots, or a flag-shaped lot where you need to drive past your neighbor's house to get to yours, can also feel a little too exposed for many home buyers. As exceptional as the interior of the house may be, if the lot or the siting of the house is flawed, it affects the home's value, and may not be a purchase you want to pursue.
Most real estate agents look at 10 to 20 houses per week, and after working with many buyers and sellers, they get schooled on things like floor plans, locations, layouts, and neighborhoods. Over time, we can spot and flag potential trouble spots instantly. Home buyers who are just starting their search can't possibly know what to look for or even what to expect. Ask your agent to be on the lookout for things you shouldn’t ignore.