Whether you are a DIY master, or are just starting to dive in, there are things you should keep an eye out for when house shopping. What can be easily changed? A new coat of paint does wonders for a room, but what about the bigger stuff? How do the floors look? Are the bathrooms in good condition? Make sure you check out all the main bearing walls in case there is any major remodeling you plan on doing. We’ve partnered with realtor.com to bring you resources and tips to help you evaluate if the house you have your eye on is a dream or a disaster.
Know the market – It can be easy to find one house and fall in love with it. Even if you think you’ve found THE house, keep your eyes open for other great finds. realtor.com updates its listings every 15 minutes. It’s important to have the most up-to-date information when starting to look. It’s very common for a buyer to fall in love with a listing only to find that it’s outdated and the house is already sold. You want to avoid home-heartbreak at all costs. If you are just starting out, Realtor.com has an excellent ADVICE tool that allows you to ask questions about anything from finding a realtor to home improvement. It can even be specified to the city you live in so that you get the most accurate information.
Tackle the kitchen – The kitchen is one of the rooms that you’ll spend the most time in. Simple changes like painting the cabinets, or adding a tile backsplash, can really update an old-fashioned kitchen. If you want to go the extra mile, you can replace all of the appliances for ones that suit your tastes better. Plumbing can be an absolute nightmare to work around, so if you find that the only thing you love about the kitchen is when you aren’t in it, keep looking.
Look for the light – Natural light is of utmost importance, and you’ll find that it’s at the top of many lists when shopping for a home. If you love a room, but it’s lacking in the window department, consider adding one. It may seem like a daunting task, but there are many tutorials online and in home improvement stores. Take the time to brighten a room with other small changes like adding lighting fixtures or painting the walls a color that will reflect the light it does get.
Update the floors – Depending on the age of the home, there might be some excellent wood underneath the layers of carpet. Realtor.com works fast to connect consumers and realtors so that all of your questions and concerns are answered in a quick and efficient manner. Check with your realtor for information on any original flooring that might be salvageable. If you can, take a week to add hardwood or refinish whatever was salvaged under that carpet. There are many affordable options out there. If you do tackle the floors, aim to have them finished before you move in. This will save you and your family a lot of stress and unnecessary clean up.
Budget the big and little costs – When seriously considering the purchase of a home, make sure you budget in all of your desired changes – big or small. If tackling small projects like re-tiling the bathrooms gives you a headache instead of filling you with inspiration, you may want to search for a home that has already been updated to suit your tastes. Small changes like a new kitchen backsplash or new lighting fixtures seem fairly easy, but the costs can run high when you find you are changing every little detail about the home. Weigh all of your options and decide how involved you want to be in the renovation before purchasing.
Remember: Your first home may not meet all of your requirements, but it is very rewarding to look around at the finished project and to take pride in how you made it better.
Note: This post was sponsored by realtor.com. All opinions are mine alone.