Sure, compromise between the buyer and seller is part of the game when getting to closing. But there are some things buyers should never acquiesce—or they’ll likely regret their home purchase. Realtor.com recently asked real estate professionals to weigh in on some of the top items their clients regret about the home they bought.
1. The floor plan. It’s difficult and expensive to reconfigure a home’s floor plan. If a home does not fit your minimum criteria in terms of number of rooms and the flow of the main living areas, you should cross it off your list. You can knock walls down to make it an open floor plan, but it’s a lot more difficult to change the bedroom and bathroom count. In the long run, you could end up having a lot of problems and a really big financial undertaking.
2. The school district. Even if you don’t have children—but wish to one day— you should carefully consider the neighborhood’s school district. Visit the school district’s website to get a map of its exact boundaries. It can be a real eye-opener when you realize you’re on one side of a main street that is the dividing line between the top-rated and the lower-rated schools.
3. The neighbors. As a buyer, you should be cognizant of the condition of neighboring homes, as it can affect the future resale value. You can’t change the house in front of you or on either side of you, so pay close attention to neighboring properties before you purchase.
4. The budget. Consider the expenses beyond just the list price. You’ll want to factor in monthly mortgage payments, potential homeowner association dues, utility costs, and real estate taxes. A lender’s pre-approval will tell you how much house you can afford, but there are other factors that determine whether you’ll be financially comfortable. You never want to be house poor.
5. The commute. You should make sure you are comfortable with the time it takes to get to work. Drive the route between the home and your office at the time you’ll be commuting. Sometimes buyers fall in love with all the shiny bells and whistles of a house that’s an hour away from work. It may not seem like it matters at the time because you really love the house, but that’s two hours every day that you’ll be sitting in the car and not enjoying your house. Is that worth it to you?