The Education of a First-Time Home Buyer

So my husband and I are going to buy a house.  Well, hopefully…that’s the plan anyway. But that’s beside the point.

When we found our realtor and he began sending us housing listings online I thought, “This should be pretty simple right?”  He sends us information with rooms, sizes, pictures, short descriptions and so on.  I figured that with all the pictures, I would easily be able to knock out houses that just looked awful, and only visit the ones that LOOKED to be a better fit for us.  Yeah… that was silly.  Talk about false advertising!

Okay, so maybe it’s not “false” but some of those listings are pretty tricky. I saw pictures of sun-filled rooms, new appliances, spacious back yards and more.  I was really excited on our first day of home viewing, with my binder of notes to help me make my final decisions.  My excitement quickly faltered, however, when I reality set in.  Those sun-filled rooms turned into huge 50-year old windows that ALL needed to be replaced, new appliances that weren’t included with the purchase, and spacious backyards with power lines running so low even I could probably reach them with my 5’0’’ frame.  I might need a running start… but you get the idea.

After a while you begin to catch on to the housing lingo as well. “Charming” houses are old, “cozy” houses are tiny, “tucked-away” means secluded, ”new” means year 2000, “updated” means one countertop in a kitchen, and “decorated” means, ‘ew, what were these home owners thinking?!

I finally decided to look at a few of the houses with the not-so-good pictures. Surprisingly, they ended up much better than the other houses.  I guess they just didn’t pick up on the simple camera tricks that the other house sellers did so well with.  Just goes to show that good “advertising” might get people to a good product… but bad advertising might keep people away from an amazing one.

We still haven’t found anything that’s specifically piqued our “oh-my-gosh-I-want-to-make-an-offer-right-now” interest, but we are learning a lot of what we can get and what we’ll have to compromise on.  Or maybe we should think about getting a condo instead. Oh well, I guess we’ll find out eventually.