Endless articles have been written about what you should notice when buying a home in Boston, and just as many have been written about things that should be red flags.
But what about things that aren’t extremely consequential to the value of the purchase and that you should ignore? Some issues aren’t as big as they seem, and others are simply matters of taste. Here are 6 things you should ignore when buying a home in Boston.
1. Problems with Walls and Floors
Although holes in the walls and weird paint colors, as well as worn carpet and ugly flooring, are highly noticeable, they aren’t that big a deal. So when buying a home in Boston, you should ignore non-structural problems with walls and floors.
Of course, it would be great to buy a move-in-ready house, but that seldom happens unless it’s brand new construction (in which case, you still might be adding your own preferences in paint color). Non-structural blemishes on walls are easy to remedy, and repainting doesn’t cost all that much (it’s also the single-most common DIY project for new homeowners). And although replacing carpet is more costly, it’s something you’d most likely do eventually anyway.
2. Rooms Put to Odd Uses
When viewing homes, you will see some strange things. These things might include a dining room converted into a full-blown office, or a study used as a bedroom. It may be difficult, but this is exactly the kind of thing you should ignore when buying a home in Boston.
Just because the seller uses spaces in the home in a way that suits her needs, that doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Try to look beyond how the seller has set up the rooms, and envision the space used the way you’d like it, and with your possessions filling the room. What might be an office for the seller could become a nursery for you – or vice versa!
Once the seller has moved out, you can convert the casual dining room back into a space for elegant dining on special occasions with family and friends.
3. Presence of Seller Personality
Similarly, the seller may have imprinted her personality all over the home. You might see family photos hung all over the walls, idiosyncratic artwork, and weird knick-knacks. All of this – you should ignore when buying a home in Boston.
A quick straw poll in our office about strange uses for rooms or decor from our childhood homes brought out the following interesting cases:
- A half-bathroom fully decked out in Coca-Cola wallpaper and paraphernalia.
- Two bedrooms used a home office from a business long-closed and a storage area for large artwork.
- A formal (from the 1970s) living room, complete with original shag carpet.
Yes, sellers should depersonalize their homes before listing, but they don’t always do that. So just keep in mind that the seller is going to move and take all that stuff with her. Then, you can turn that house into your home – with your own photos and decorative choices.
4. Smells and Odors
Smells and odors may be offensive and might even kick up your allergies, but that is easily rectified with a thorough deep cleaning (which you’ll probably do in any case yourself or by hiring a professional cleaning company). As long as the odors don’t indicate a mold or mildew problem, then there’s really nothing to worry about. Don’t let a bad smell drive you away from a good deal.
5. Disappointing Kitchen Appliances
Yes, the kitchen is typically the heart of a home, and you want yours to be just right. It can be a disappointment, then, if the kitchen appliances don’t meet your standards, or are those once-popular golds and greens.
You can always replace them, and you probably will anyway. But if they work, use them for as long as you’re willing to endure out-of-date appliances. Home renovations do add up, and if your fridge, stove, and dishwasher are functional but dated, ride them out a bit longer until you’re settled and ready to invest in the upgrades. Know that you can ignore disappointing kitchen appliances when buying a home in Boston, especially if it’s otherwise your dream home.
6. Poor Curb Appeal
Sellers are always advised to enhance curb appeal before listing, but that happens less often than you’d think. A poorly kept yard, peeling paint, and an ugly front door really aren’t a true indication of what you’ll find inside the house. As long as you remain wary, you can also usually ignore poor curb appeal when buying a home inBoston.
Your Agent Knows
But do be aware that there are some things you shouldn’t ignore when buying a home in Boston. Some things – like a sagging roof or cracked foundation – may indicate bigger structural problems. A good home inspection should uncover all of these major issues that still might not be dealbreakers if you can negotiate the price or are willing to do the work yourself.