House hunting is quite likely my favorite occupation. It's actually one of my secret indulgences - probably the one least likely to land me in a dentist's chair! Which is perfect really, because as a Realtor®, I view hundreds and hundreds of homes for sale each year. I'm also the lucky owner of a luxuriant imagination, so I can easily visualize the potential of a room, a floor plan or an elevation. Of course I also keep an eagle eye out for obvious defects, evidence of deferred maintenance and resale appeal. But how does a home buyer really know what to look for? How should a home buyer 'view' a house?
Most people engaged in an earnest house hunt are realists - they look at the way a space conforms to their internal idea of 'home', but often miss looking through that magical kaleidoscope of infinite possibilities. Yes, they may picture their furnishings in a room, or envision a new paint color or carpet selection, but what do they really SEE?
Something happened to most of us between childhood and adult-land... our ability to let flights of fancy run rampant has slowly diminished. We’ve let go of the heightened awareness that sends us running from that monster in the basement! We've all but closed off that mystical portal that offers up a rich array of information about our surroundings. It's a tragic loss. But the magic is still lurking out there. We just need to see it!
So how should a Savvy Buyer look at a house? Here are three essentials…
1. Look up, look down, look at every angle. Look at the texture and patterns of finishes. Are they in harmony? Observe the way the light hits each surface, the grain of a wood floor, the view from each window, the way the sun moves through the house from morning ’til night (there's an app for that!) How does the room feel? What mood does it evoke? There is so much more to a room than just four walls, a floor and a ceiling!
2. Let your imagination run away with you! Who says the formal dining room can't become that dream pantry you found on Pinterest? Or that the garage can’t house the music studio you've been dreaming of? With a bit of bubble gum and a shoestring (and ok, a terrific contractor), there are no limits to what a room can become. I admit, it takes some serious conjuring to turn a crash pad into a palace, but this is the stuff of epic house dreams. So shift your imagination into heavy lifting mode and IMAGINE!
3. Observe yourself! Yes, you read correctly! This tells you so much more than your eyes ever could. When you walk into a home and just KNOW it's right, your body instantly relaxes. Your shoulders drop, your breathing slows (even though you're excited!), and although you can't see it... you smile. It's the universal cue for 'this is the place'.
And there’s more, but just doing these three things can transform your house hunt into an inspired adventure. Go ahead and don your favorite pair of snazzy pragmatic glasses and DO scrutinize the overall condition, but trust that your fabulous Realtor® and your expert home inspector will uncover those things for you. Your job is to buckle into your inner time machine and let your sense of wonder run free! So hurry! Your savvy new home is waiting for you!
Jennifer Monroe, Realtor®/Broker
Smart ❉ Savvy ❉ Dedicated
Refreshingly Honest Real Estate with a Little Fun Kicked in!
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© Jennifer Monroe, Realtor®/Broker 2014
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