You hear the saying “location, location, location” all the time but what are you willing to give up for your perfect location? A perfect example of this is in SE Huntsville where the majority of the homes are 40+ years old but you can’t get a better location in town. It is close to great private schools as well as some of the highest state ranking public schools, close to the major highways, golfing, river for boating and fishing, and access to Redstone Arsenal but you may not find your dream home here. You can turn a home into your dreamhome with a little intuition. SE Huntsville has always been one of the most desirable zip codes in town and lately there has been an even higher demand for the area. Before you start looking at homes in this area you need to seriously discuss what type of updates you are ok with and what is a deal breaker. My word of advise is this.
1. Ugly bathrooms while horrible to look at are a fairly simple undertaking. Many of the home improvement stores now carry all in one vanity/counter sets that look very high end. You can also look into reusing the existing tub with a cover or refinish paint and that can save a furtune. The thing to ask yourself is are you ok with the location of the bathroom because moving walls, plumbing and electric is a much more specific skill set.
2. Hideous light fixtures are a conversation starter but probably not something you want to look at day in and day out in your home. Light fixtures are an easy thing to replace and can be done yourself with instruction just remember you are playing with electricity.
3. Curb appeal is a biggie. Many buyers will not even take the time to look inside if the exterior is not appealing to them. Well keep in mind that landscaping can do wonders and is another fun do it yourself project. Also, brick can be painted, shutters and exterior doors replaced or painted and voila you have a new house (from the outside anyway).
4. Those kitchen cabinets look like they came from my grandmother’s house. Ask yourself if they are solid wood can they be painted and put on new hardware or if not could you re-face them? These are huge money savers but just like the bathrooms if you want to extend the space or change the layout all bets are off. Painting the cabinets, new hardware and countertops may turn that stale dated kitchen into a Pinterest most wanted.
5. I hate popcorn ceilings and that wallpaper has got to be the ugliest thing I have ever seen. These are the cheapest fixes of all but can be very messy and time consuming so make sure you are prepared to undertake this update. Paint is one of the easiest things you can do to transform a space and its cheap.
While these are just some of the easy fixes I am sure I could spout off twenty more I am just trying to get you to look at potential homes with an open mind.
The updates that you want to make sure are done include big ticket items like HVAC, roof, mold, panel box to code, updated plumbing and any structural issues. These things can kill your budget and turn your new dreamhome into a nightmare. Make sure you use a highly recommended home inspector and walk with him during the inspection so you won’t be surprised when you see the official report.