House-hunting can be so tiresome, especially when there isn’t anything EXACTLY like what you want.  Look past the cosmetics and focus on the bones of the house and the property itself – the land on which the house sits.

 An important aspect of your purchase is the land.  You can add on to the house, but you can’t add on to the land.  Make sure the land is the right size for future additions and landscaping plans.

 List your priorites:  Must-Have, Want, Absolutely-Hate-The-Thought-Of.  Each property will have Pros and Cons.  If you’ve decided that you need a 4 bedroom house, maybe you can survive with 3 bedrooms and a den.  Try to look beyond the normal uses for some of the rooms.  You can put a pool table in the living room.  Who says it has to be a ‘living room’? 

Concrete block as a room divider

Is the kitchen a mess?  The one in this picture has concrete-block as a room separator!  Yikes!  THAT’s gonna be work to remove.  Ugh.  We looked at a house with horrendous 1970’s yellow and brown tile and old, tired appliances.  But I knew I would one day remodel the kitchen and I’d have a hard time finding a backyard as marvelous as this one – gazebo, room for a pool, view of the hills, lovely!   Look past those items that can be changed/updated/removed/expanded and focus, Focus, FOCUS on your list of priorities. 

 And, on the other side of the coin, don’t be fooled by pretty paint jobs and staging.  Look past those eye-pleasers. 

 Another helpful hint is to take photos of the houses you review – of the good and the bad aspects of each of them.  Houses tend to blur together after awhile so be organized about it.

 Take a tape measure with you and record the room sizes, particularly if you have Aunt Agatha’s armoir that has to fit into the master bedroom!

What other tips for house-hunting have you found helpful?  Let me know.

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