Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Some Advice for New Buyers

Posted in House Hunting by Jeff Dowler on January 3, 2007

I’ve talked about this some before, but my experience yesterday with some new clients looking for their first home reminded me that this is advice that should be shared more than once.

Looking at homes is a challenge, especially when some are in really bad shape, are very dirty or messy, and in general look like a war zone inside and out. As a new buyer, it is easy to start a search with stars in your eyes and visions of finding a perfect home, only to be slapped into reality when you walk into one of those few homes in your price range that makes you want to run screaming out the door (I know what it’s like – I’ve seen plenty with buyers, as well as some real gems on my own buying searches). It is amazing that some homeowners believe that buyers won’t be bothered by this.

My advice is to try, try, try to use your imagination, and realistically look at the house to see if it has the potential to be YOUR new home. Pretend it is empty, the trash is gone, the ugly paint colors have been redone, the carpet is clean or replaced, all the personal clutter has been packed, the lawn is mowed, and there are no over-friendly pets hanging around. I know this home makes anything else you see look like a terrific value, but DON’T rule it out on messiness alone. Unfortunately, many sellers don’t realize how the condition of their homes can turn-off buyers (as it did mine yesterday), and surprisingly there are agents who seem clueless about this sort of thing – kinda shocking in this competitive market.

I am NOT telling you to buy a home like this, or to ignore the fact that the mess may hide other problems or be a sign of lots of deferred maintenance. But try to keep an open mind if you can…you might miss out on a real gem hidden beneath the disaster area. But don’t waste timne if it really is the wrost mess you have ever seen…NEXT!


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