(Closed) What did you compromise on? (House hunting)

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
2703 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

i compromised on the granite countertops and stainless steel in our kitchen. i love the cabinets, and we can always upgrade later, we got black built-ins that came with it… so it’s “do-able” until we can renovate how we want.

i also compromised on the jetted tub in the master bath, since we got a hottub with a tv out in our backyard!… and the space in our bathroom is hugeee so we can always upgrade our tub if we want.

Fiance sacrificed on the 3 car garage and the finished basement!

Post # 5
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I compromised on location (kinda), on wood floors, and on the yard.

I knew exactly which ‘burb I wanted to live on and we are RIGHT on the line for it. We have their schools, but city (cheaper) taxes. So monetarily it works out perfectly because we have lower taxes but still great schools and we’re less than 10 minutes from my ideal area. But, its still a compromise because it isn’t exactly where I was hoping to be. 

I compromised on wood floors because Fiance promised me that we could upgrade within 3 years for the main level. Honestly though, after living here for a few months, I’m not sure its worth the money to me anymore. I love my house 🙂

The yard was maybe a bigger compromise… its teeny tiny. I ideally wanted to live in a place with a decent yard and a 6′ fence (or ability to fence). I found out though that you can’t get a newer home with a 6′ fence because almost everything here has HOAs that only allow 4′ fences. Also, our yard is only .1 acre total. i.e. TINY. It definitely feels weird to me to be so close to my neighbors but the upside is that we have less to maintain, and its still big enough to have a nice little back yard for the dog. 

 

The reason I was willing to compromise on this and it didn’t feel like settling is because the house is better than I EVER thought we could afford. It’s way bigger than I planned (2600 sq feet), 4 bed, 2.5 bath, with awesome vaulted ceilings in the great room and bedroom, tons of natural light, and an already finished “man cave.” It is honestly perfect for us and the things I compromised on don’t bother me at all. 

Post # 7
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

@erin- the biggest thing i would be concerned about is property value in that situation. will the location on that street hurt the value? Is it priced accordingly considering the street? I.e. is it a nicer house than you could afford 1 block over? I think if the money works out, do it. I don’t regret our compromises at all. 🙂

Post # 9
Member
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We sacrificed on the whole house pretty much! LOL! We saw the lot (we’re right on a river) and decided what the house was like inside didn’t matter to us. It was underpriced and we knew the value would go up drastically, especially after we renovate. We’re both handy people (I’m an interior designer, Fiance is a contractor) so we knew we could make cosmetic fixes inside until we could save up enough for a big reno. Thankfully the kitchen was pretty nice and our master bedroom is WAY bigger than what we need, but here’s what I don’t like and will definitely change when the time comes:

  • Bigger kitchen, Ikea cabinets – I’m not supposed to like them because I’m a designer, but their kitchens are SO functional and the warranty is awesome. I really miss the one we had at our condo.
  • Garage – We don’t have one and it’s such a HUGE PIA!!!!!!!!
  • All bedrooms upstairs – Right now we have our master on the main floor and 3 bedrooms in our “basement”. The basment is a walkout with a lot of sunlight and great views, but our master plan is to open up our whole main floor and basement and move all the bedrooms to a new 2nd floor. I don’t want to have a nursery in the basement when we decide to have kids.

Keep in mind that a lot of changes people get stuck on while house hunting are really cosmetic. You can paint, change the flooring, replace light fixtures and appliances really easily and can find great bargains for all those items if you look around. Look for a house with “good bones” so you can slowly change it to the way you want it as budget allows.

Don’t compromise on things like location. A house on a busy street with always be a house on a busy street and that will affect your property value. Try to think down the road to what will happen when you want to sell it and get a house that suits your future lifestyle/family situation. What are the factors that are going to impact your resale value?

Post # 10
Member
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

We are getting a basically brand new house but a smaller yard closer to neighbors than we would like. But we already met the neighbors and they seem nice, so we have that going for us.  We wanted at lkeast 10k sq foot year, but got 7.2k instead. We reasoned that it is only our starter home and not the forever house, so for now it will work

Post # 11
Member
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We compromised somewhat on neighborhood (still one we like a lot, but in our “second tier” of choices—totally priced out of the first tier!), backyard neighbors (apartment buildings on the lot behind the house, which is why a lot of people didn’t bid on our house; we’re working on screening them, but it’s probably the one compromise we might reconsider doing it over); and size (doesn’t exactly count as a compromise since we knew from the beginning that we could never afford a 3BR in the neighborhoods we wanted to live in and feel lucky that we wound up with a 2.5BR since most of what we looked at were straight 2BRs, but all else being equally we would have preferred three).

We looked for nearly a year, though, so we had a good sense of what we were giving up—getting the quality of house (historic bungalow with very few bad things done to it) and size of lot that we wound up with in our top choice neighborhoods would have been an extra $200K, which wasn’t money we had in an already exorbitantly priced market. One thing we did wind up with that wasn’t on our radar at all, though, was a garage (technically two-car, but I call it 1.5-car)—didn’t matter much at the time, but we’ve really come to appreciate it and especially how uncommon it is in our neighborhood. (Older urban ‘hood, so houses predate cars and very few have garages unless they’ve been raised; ours is one of only three nearby with freestanding garages.)

This does remind me of how regional all of this is, though. Our lot is .13 acres, which is considered big in our neighborhood—many lots are half that! So @CorgiTales, it was funny to read about how tiny it is where you are. 🙂

I wouldn’t worry too much about compromises inside the house (other than layout); you really can change all of that over time. Like bakerella said, location is really the one thing you can’t change, so if you compromise on that, you need to be sure a) you’re okay with it, and b) the house price takes it into consideration. (In our case we got a better house for our budget in exchange for apartment neighbors, but those buildings aren’t going anywhere, so we know that when we sell, future buyers will consider that too. Not a big deal as long as you factor it in and don’t overpay on the front end, though.)

Post # 13
Member
1317 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

ErinMarguerite, I understand your frustration, but your house is definitely out there, you’ll find it soon enough =) It sounds like you made the right decision to pass up on the house, especially if it feels like you’re settling. House buying is too big a purchase to risk buyer’s remorse.

As for our house and what we compromised on:

  • Small kitchen – it’s much smaller than I hoped!
  • Old appliances
  • No garage – we have a carport instead (just a roof attached to the house).
  • Massive yardwork – the sellers let the bushes grow wild. They’re so thick, they’re as wide as a car is long!
  • Not as big of a yard
  • I personally don’t like the color of our tiles, but the Fi likes them.
  • Funky exterior color
  • 2-layered glass windows instead of 3-layers (not as energy efficient)
  • Electric heating system as opposed to underground water heating (not as energy efficient)

What we got:

  • A much larger house than I hoped for.
  • A perfect location: corner lot on a cul-de-sac leading towards an empty grass area with a playground nearby (but not so close that I can hear kids playing), a school is around the corner
  • Less than 10 min walk from the grocery store and 1 of 2 nearby lakes
  • 15 min walk from downtown/the 2nd lake
  • A large great room with exposed beams (my fave room)
  • Dual sinks and an attached bath
  • A sauna (although it’s fairly common here in Sweden, although I never thought I’d own one before)
  • Room for an actual guestroom near it’s own bathroom, away from the rest of the rooms
  • Private backyard
  • $14k discount

It took us awhile to make sense of our floor plans, but after writing countless lists (thanks to the Bees) everything made sense! I love our house and can’t wait to move in (9 more weeks to go)! Now that the snow has melted, we realized our yard is actually bigger than we originally thought, especially after we take down those crazy bushes! The kitchen is still tiny, but we can always expand it later. I love the town it’s in and our location is just getting better and better the more we explore the neighborhood. It’ll be our forever home and I’m now convinced we got lucky in finding it when we did! I’m so glad we didn’t pass it up … and I was about to!

Post # 14
Hostess
18643 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

We compromised on some of the interiors.  The bathrooms and kitchen of our house are very 70s.  Also, the yards needed a bit of work.  The thing that we would not compromise on was neighborhood.  You can always fix up a house but you can’t move it to a better neighborhood.

Post # 16
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Ok, we knew what we DID want within reason… i.e.

We needed at least 3 BR, 4 would be best

A good size kitchen, doesn’t have to be state of the art, but at least a good space we can move in

A garage

A good neighborhood, not a lot of cars parked on street

Decent yard for the dog and future kids.

—-

What we wound up doing, was sacrificing on the “move in ready.” We found a foreclosure, in an amazing neighborhood with 4 BR, a Laundry Room (that was on the bonus list), 1.5 car garage, great sized kitchen…. and the important things, location, layout, and bones couldn’t be better for us! Now, the house needs a lot of updating, there was horrible wallpaper, carpet, a dated bathroom…. but we can change all those things.

Our Number 2 house had a GORGEOUS master bath… jetted tub, ahhhh…. The kitchen was eh… but overall, the house presented SO MUCH BETTER. However, the neighborhood wasn’t where we wanted to be. 

—-

Location needs to be a big deciding factor. If it’s on a busy road, I would first find out if it’s within the area that the city can basically buy from you to widen the street… The street may be busy now, but what about 5 years from now? 10? 

That could affect your life or resale.

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