Buying a House: Pleasant Surprises and Details

Ann & Jeanie
Published on February 26, 2020

Buying a House: Pleasant Surprises and Details

I don’t know if there are actual statistics on this one, but I can tell you from experience that water heaters wait until the new homeowner moves in to fail. This is why home warranties are such a good idea.

What about pleasant surprises? We don’t hear much about those.

Jana Moy moved into her Wisconsin home during a bleak late winter. When spring rolled around, her new yard came to life, with plants leafing out and bulbs sprouting.

The showstopper occurred in mid-summer when at least 30 (she stopped counting) exquisite Stargazer lilies burst into bloom along the back wall in the garden. She had no idea the bulbs were snug underground when she bought the house and it was, most definitely, a pleasant surprise.

For some new homeowners, living in a home on a day-to-day basis brings on little surprises, such as the extra storage space you missed while touring the house or the way the living area flows just right.

While you house hunt, think about some of the little things that would be pleasantly surprising after you move in and put some of them on your “must-have” list.

Interior Design and Home Buying

One of the biggest surprises when buying a house is walking into a home that looks drab and uninteresting on the outside, only to find that the inside is a wonderful example of tasteful interior design.

While some elements of the interior – such as furniture and window treatments – may not be included in the sale, you may find structural design elements of the house that you like.

Of course, what qualifies as good interior design depends largely on your personal needs, interests and taste.

The Importance of Closet Design and Extra Space

Storage space is an important consideration for many people. There’s an old joke that people “expand to fit” their surroundings, gathering and storing possessions as the years pass.

Sure, good closet design isn’t as impressive as a whirlpool bath when you’re viewing a home, but over the long run it’s probably more essential. A walk-in closet or extra space for storage is almost always an advantage when buying a house.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

It’s well known in real estate circles that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. An outdated kitchen or a cramped, dingy bathroom can easily break a deal.

Maybe you don’t need a heated towel rack or a steam shower system, but if you’re like most Americans, you don’t want a dinky bathroom. Lots of space is the name of the game for today’s homebuyers.

So, pay close attention to the bathroom in any home you’re considering purchasing. Look for the details that will turn out to be pleasant surprises when you move in.

The kitchen, for many people, is much more than a place to prepare food – it’s also a gathering place for family and friends, so an open, comfortable kitchen is a big plus in a home’s favor.

Americans have specific “wants” in their new kitchen and one of the most popular is a pantry, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. More than 80 percent of people polled stated that a walk-in pantry is a must-have, with double, side-by-side sinks and space for a dining table coming in not far behind.

Keeping Home Buying Surprises in Context

Pleasant surprises can be the difference between buying a home and continuing to house hunt, but do remember to keep them in perspective.

No matter how nice a home’s interior design, how lush its garden or how much extra space it has for storage, if the house itself isn’t structurally sound it isn’t worth buying.

Cosmetic defects, on the other hand, are fixable, so don’t let them dissuade you from an otherwise ideal house.

It’s important to take care of the basics when home buying before looking at a home’s little extras. However, a well-built home with extra closet space? Now that’s a nice surprise when buying a house!

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