Almost every Waterloo Region home buyer goes into their search with a list of wants. And that list is usually shared with their Realtor so that he or she can tailor the homes they are shown accordingly. However, sometimes, especially when the potential home buyer is one who will be purchasing a home for the first time that want list isn’t always practical or realistic.
While you’re making a wish list of ‘must have’ features to share with your real estate agent, check it twice to make sure that the options you have in mind make monetary and practical sense, too. Here are some prime examples of just what we mean:
The Big Yard
A big yard is on many potential home buyer’s wish lists. And why not. Pets and kids love having a big yard. A big yard is great for summer outdoor living. If well maintained it’s great for general curb appeal as well.
But, a big yard also means a lot of work. Those beautifully manicured lawns you see in glossy magazines take a lot of hard work to maintain (and they may have had a hand from Photoshop as well) and would NOT be kid or pet friendly. So holding out for a big yard may not always be the best idea, especially if this will be a starter home that may be resold in a few years, as new buyers may not want to take on all of those gardening chores that you did.
A Formal Dining Room
A home with a formal dining room does mean that the family has a dedicated space to take meals in that can be oh so stylish and sophisticated. But getting real, people who already own a home with such a space barely use it for its given purpose. The table is laid for holiday celebrations and the rest of the time it becomes a space reserved for monthly bill paying in peace at most.
Instead of holding out for a dining room consider being open to putting your money into square footage that will serve your needs and add some convenience, like an extra bathroom, a large laundry room or plenty of walk-in closets instead.
A Wood Burning Fireplace
Yes, a roaring fire in the dead of winter is totally romantic and charming. It can also help you save on energy bills as well, if it is placed in the right spot in the home for the heat to circulate. But what is it going to do for the other, warmer months of the year? Basically just sit there and add yet another cleaning chore to your busy housekeeping list.
There is also the safety factor. Kids (and pets) and fireplaces don’t mix well. So if you have – or plan to start – a family then a fireplace could become a danger. They are big air polluters too, and require specific maintenance in order to be safe so before you hold out for one keep of all these things in mind. If you really want a fireplace look for a nice big living room in your new Waterloo Region home and then you can add one of the many, really great looking free standing electric fireplaces that you can get right now.
Stainless Steel Appliances
This is a wish list item that has only cropped up over the last decade or so. And to be honest, it’s the one that often makes the least sense. Stainless steel appliances do look cool and they are still trendy right now. Yet they rarely actually do much more than their ‘standard’ counterparts and trends don’t last forever. Just ask someone who once held out for an all olive kitchen in the 70s because that was hot at the time. Plus, have you ever tried to keep stainless steel fingerprint free?
Stainless steel appliances are nice and if the home comes with them, great. But why base home buying decisions based on something that has a limited useful life, especially when the ‘standard’ options another property may come with can be so easily replaced?