It’s smart to use a critical eye while viewing a prospective new home. After all, love really is blind; falling head over heels for a house might mean missing some important—and costly—issues with the property. On the other hand, being overly critical about the wrong things can be just as big a mistake. You could pass up a great opportunity over relatively minor concerns. Here are eight issues you can safely ignore when shopping for your next home in the San Diego area.
1. Low Water Pressure
Discerning homebuyers will often run the taps or flush the toilet to check the plumbing. This isn’t a bad idea because it could uncover leaks around the faucet flange or a less than ideal water condition. But if you find that the water pressure is too low, don’t worry about it. You can always adjust water pressure to your liking with a simple turn of the screw on the water pressure regulator.
2. Unsightly Flooring
It’s impossible to ignore bad flooring in a home because it takes up so much square footage. If everywhere you walk is stained carpeting, cheap linoleum or cracked tile, you may feel like turning around and walking out the front door. But keep your feet firmly planted, because flooring can always be ripped out and replaced. Depending on your flooring choice, the cost can be surprisingly affordable. There may even be beautiful hardwood hiding underneath, in which case you only need to have it refinished.
3. Bad Kitchen
Even a bad kitchen shouldn’t make you automatically strike a prospective house off your list. Because everyone has their own work styles, kitchen designs rarely suit the new owners. When buying a home, most people remodel the kitchen to some extent, anyway. What you should be more concerned about is the space in the kitchen. Even the layout of the kitchen can be altered to some extent. As long as the square footage of the kitchen will work for your needs, you can always create your own version of an ideal kitchen by refacing cabinets, installing new countertops, or replacing appliances.
4. Lack of a Walk-In Closet
Lack of adequate closet space for clothes is often a deal-breaker for homebuyers. Just keep in mind that a massive walk-in closet can be made from a spare bedroom, or even by adding a wall and partitioning off an unusually large master suite. All you need is an extra room or enough extra space, plus hardware, to make a dream closet.
5. No Bathtub
Anyone who has gone without a tub for a long time might balk at the notion of buying a house without a bathtub. This is especially true for a family with young kids. But even though built-in shower enclosures look permanent, they don’t have to be. For less than you might think, you can have the shower taken out and a bathtub installed.
6. Open Space Floor Plan
Somewhere along the line, open space floor plans became the hottest new feature for homebuyers. But this “warehouse” look isn’t to everyone’s liking. If the location is great, and everything else is falling into place, don’t let an open space floor plan dissuade you from making a bid. You can easily create room separations. Try free-standing room dividers in bamboo or Japanese rice paper, faux columns, wall or ceiling-mounted siding panels, knee walls, or even a row of luxury giant potted ferns.
7. Age of the House
It’s understandable that some homebuyers filter out older homes when house hunting. Certain pricey items tend to break down after 15 or 20 years of use, such as appliances, roofing and HVAC systems. But don’t discount a home solely because of its age. A well-maintained home can last several hundred years, and older homes typically have a lot more character than newer counterparts. Finally, remember that an older home that’s still standing has likely withstood severe weather conditions over the years, like tornados, earthquakes and floods. That’s worth considering when you’re searching for a well-constructed residence that will last a lifetime.
8. Popcorn Ceilings
An adverse reaction to popcorn ceilings isn’t just about being picky. The popcorn finish on ceilings sometimes contains asbestos, which has been linked to asthma and lung disease. As bad as that sounds, popcorn ceilings shouldn’t make you run in terror. Specialized contractors for hire can completely remove the popcorn finish and redo your ceilings in a modern, attractive design before you and your family even move into your new home.
Home shopping in San Diego will be a lot more pleasant when you realize you don’t need to be concerned about these eight “non-issues.” If you have any questions about what things are important and which you can safely ignore, your real estate agent is always a good source of information. You’ll also be able to get references from your agent for quality contractors that can take care of some of these relatively minor repairs or remodeling projects.