Should you buy it if you don't love it? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 01-11-2009, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We found a house that our realtor things is an awesome deal because it is really well priced in a great neighborhood. We saw it. It's ok. The size is more than enough. But I don't love the layout. And the former owners installed this checker-board ceramic tile in brown and cream in the living room/ dining room combo. We could rip it out, but not right away. It is at the top of our price range, so we won't have a lot of free cash to re-do it right away. I would have to live with it for a while. The house is clean and livable, and it is a GREAT neighborhood in an awesome school district. (This matters to us because we plan to use public school.) So what do you think, should we go for it even tho I don't love it?

I will add that the market here is really hot right now. Everything that is in decent shape in a good area is gone within a month. They have offers within a few days and then the 30 days to close so we gotta move if we are going to do it.
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#2 of 33 Old 01-11-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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There's something special about finding *the* house, the one that makes you go : and know that you want to live there. You aren't feeling it about this one.

On the other hand, there's something special about having a place to live too. How much pressure are you under to find a new place? If you have time on your side, you should probably wait. It would be an awful feeling to get unpacked in the place you settled for and then see your dream house come on the market.

Is it just the layout/aesthetics that are bothering you, or is it just not leaping out at you, period?

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#3 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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Nope, I don't think so. There are plenty of deals to be had in this market. We were looking two years ago, couldn't find anything we liked, all the ones that seemed okay in the high end of our price range still had tons of work I'd want to do either in needing fixing or just that I didn't like the layout or things like the tile, etc, it would bother me tremendously. We ended up buying a much much smaller less expensive house with the idea of living in it 6-7 years and then looking for a bigger one we liked.

We ended up buying a house two years later that we love love love. It wasn't something we were going to find again, so we jumped on it and sold our other house and bought this one. The location is ideal, the layout is wonderful, it has everything I want in a house. I'm so glad we didn't settle for something we didn't love at the top of our price range two years ago, because more expensive houses dropped significantly in price, our small house only dropped a little. In retrospect, I wish we had just rented until we found a house we loved instead of buying, but hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

That said, I wouldn't pass on a house because of something like tile if you loved everything else. First, the location and lot - those can't be changed at all, so you have to love them. Then the house layout, unless you think you can afford a big addition or remodel, you can't change these either, so you want to like that. But things like carpet, paint, tile - these are much more easily changed and I'd be okay with living with some ugly tile or whatnot if I loved the rest of the house.

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#4 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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Given the reasons you state, I wouldn't go for it. The realtor would probably much prefer to get as much commission as he/she can but I wouldn't go for something at the high end of my price range unless it were in perfect for me, move-in condition (with the exception of paint maybe).

heh, I have to note that I'd probably love the tile as that would remind me of the homes in Europe where I've lived. Ideally it has radiant heat under that tile?

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#5 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 02:08 AM
 
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I wouldn't! And watch out for your realtor! The faster s/he gets you in a deal, the higher her/his hourly wage. And if it's the top of your price range, even better as s/he makes more commission.

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#6 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 02:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
I wouldn't! And watch out for your realtor! The faster s/he gets you in a deal, the higher her/his hourly wage. And if it's the top of your price range, even better as s/he makes more commission.
This. 100%!

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#7 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 02:25 AM
 
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I wouldn't! And watch out for your realtor! The faster s/he gets you in a deal, the higher her/his hourly wage. And if it's the top of your price range, even better as s/he makes more commission.
This and I'd be looking for a new relator BEFORE I looked at any more houses.
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#8 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 03:17 AM
 
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Here's the thing... think about how long you're going to live there overall. IS this the community you will want for 10 years? If so, some ugly tile may not matter as much as the community. Although if you absolutely don't like the layout that could annoy you forever. And if it is too much for your budget then would that put a hardship on your family?

Can you take a look again at the layout? Is the layout completely wrong for you? Is it something you could easily alter? If it's just slightly bothersome, perhaps you could get used to it, but if it's way off then it might not be worth living in a house that annoys you.

Bottom line for me is to consider the things you can change versus the things you can't... You can't change the way a neighborhood is, but you can eventually change out tile. The realtor might be right that the house is priced well, but that won't do anything for you if you don't enjoy living there.
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#9 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 03:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ghislaine View Post
Given the reasons you state, I wouldn't go for it. The realtor would probably much prefer to get as much commission as he/she can but I wouldn't go for something at the high end of my price range unless it were in perfect for me, move-in condition (with the exception of paint maybe).

heh, I have to note that I'd probably love the tile as that would remind me of the homes in Europe where I've lived. Ideally it has radiant heat under that tile?
I agree with this... I would only go for my high end price range if it were something I loved. However, I don't know your area... and if the neighborhood is great... that's irreplaceable.

But I do think it sounds like you don't want it.
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#10 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 05:55 AM
 
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Nope. It's a buyer's market and there are deals everywhere, don't forget that.

I'd be finding a new realtor asap since it doesn't sound like this one cares about you finding the right home so much as his/her pay.

I would not buy a home- especially in this market when God only knows if you'll be able to sell if you choose to- that I didn't absolutely love and want to live in happily for several years. There's just no way.

Sellers are willing to bend over backwards to get rid of their houses. Hold out for something you love, love, love. You won't regret it.

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#11 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 06:25 AM
 
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I would. I did. And there our things about my house I hate! The kitchen that needs major updating. The bathroom's "psychiatric ward grey" paintjob. Low-efficiancy appliances. An uneven chair rail along one of the main walls. Not my first choice for location, but my second (and has distinct advantages over my first, even if I don't care for it).

But...it's home now, 8 months later. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now. We don't plan on being here forever, but until we can afford some land, this is right where we belong. We work with what we have, changing what we can as we go. Sometimes, the things you dislike now grow on you and you come to love them. Just not creepy grey walls.

Honestly, though, in our situation this was the best home our price range, it had what we were looking for (though not the condition we may have wanted it in), and we needed out of our previous living situation ASAP. So we settled. But I'd never consider it settling anymore.

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#12 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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I'd probably wait. I want to be totally sure when I buy a house. Not go in with the feeling that maybe I shouldn't have bought this house. That's just me.

If the tile is the only thing that is bothering you, then maybe you can put a large room-sized rug in that room... What about the layout? Can you live with it? Maybe you can write down what features of the house you don't like and what features are very important in the house that you are looking to buy. That will give you answers to whether you want to buy this one of not.

Buying a house is such an exciting thing. Goodluck!

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#13 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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Ignore the realtor's opinion. She doesn't have to live there and she gets paid if you buy it.

As to whether or not I'd buy it, it all has to do with your market. Our home purchases are heavily influenced by school district and neighborhood. We've done pretty well, even with our current house.

If I felt that I'd not come across a better house in a neighborhood I love, then I'd probably do it. The floor isn't much of an issue. If you are at all handy, you can fix this a few years down the road for a reasonable amount of money. Laminate or floating hardwood are really easy to do yourself, for example.

The layout is different. You're not going to be able to change this so easily. If you hate it, you're going to hate living there for a long time. My MIL bought a small ranch house 50 years ago and raised 5 kids in it. She hated every minute of that house and still does. I don't know that I could live that way. On the other hand, she lived in a neighborhood with excellent schools, which was great, but they really could have afforded to upgrade at some point and stay in the neighborhood. I've also lived in houses that don't have the perfect layout, but I've been OK with it. But a layout I hate, I don't think I'd buy.
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#14 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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I wouldn't! You should LOVE it with all your heart before you buy it!

Of course, no one can really say but you...

Good luck. House hunting is stressful, but it's also fascinating to imagine yourself in different places.
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#15 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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This is a hard question to answer for someone else. We bought a house we didn't totally love, but most of the things we didn't love are easily fixable, but my dh is pretty handy and my fil is a contractor, so what we consider an easy fix might be very different from what others think. I agree with pps to consider what you can and can't change, and to think about your priorities. You may decide that the layout is worth dealing with to live in your ideal community. You might feel that no community is worth living in a house you don't love. That's up to you (Not your realtor) to decide. I wouldn't let cosmetic issues stop me from buying a place though, even if it takes you a while, you can change it eventually.

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#16 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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So we settled. But I'd never consider it settling anymore.
Me too. DH and I have very different tastes so we were quite torn on which house to buy. We ended up getting the one he liked (though it did have some good attributes such as lot size and good neighbourhood/location). The layout was not at all what I had in mind (it's a backsplit, I wanted a 2-level home) but it turned out to work really well for us.

So I did settle. I didn't love the house when we bought it, but I sure do now. But decide based on the market, finances, and your gut feeling, rather than what the realtor says.
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#17 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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Don't buy a house just because it's a good buy in the right neighborhood. Take your time, you'll know when you find a house that's perfect for you. Minor cosmetic details can be changed but it sounds like you don't like the layout of the house either and that's something that's not easily or in-expensively changed.

I agree, find a new realtor...look at every house in your targeted neighborhood and wait until you find on that's "perfect" for you.

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#18 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 02:32 PM
 
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I see no reason to find a new realtor based on the initial post. It sounds like she is giving her opinion. I looked at many houses and my agent often said "this is a good deal" or "this would work". Agents sell houses and even a good one has interest in a sale going through. Now if you feel pressure then by all means find a new one.

As for buying what you do not love, well that depends. When we bought our house we had 3 choices. This was last month. In order to get into the town we wanted and have land for our horses we had 3 choices. The house was not the priority. Location & land were.

If you hate cosmetic stuff and can see the layout could be changed without too much and the town/area is where you want to be then consider it.

Where I see the issue is spending more then you want on something it sounds like you do not even what to deal with. Thats where I would advise you to keep looking. I know your market is different. Here in the northeast houses tend to not be put on the market in the winter, especially if someone needs to worry about not moving during the school year. If you have time, wait.
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#19 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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If you have to ask, then it isn't the right house for you.
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#20 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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Oh, also. If you don't like the layout already, then my guess is that it wouldn't work for you. Cosmetics are one thing, but you can't easily change the layout of a house. And it's all about the layout, baby. You can have all the space in the world, but if it doesn't flow right for your family, then I'd keep looking.
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#21 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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Sometimes, the things you dislike now grow on you and you come to love them.
This has happened to me twice.

I'm not the kind to fall "in love" with a house...it's a house, after all...so every place we have lived has had things about it that I didn't like when we bought.

And I've grown to love both of the houses. Once your family is there and you have memories associated with the house...it grows on you.

It changes from a "house" to your home.

So I would think long and hard about what is more important to you.

Tile or good schools? Layout or a nice neighborhood?

If you research this house and the realtor is right -- it is a good price for what you are getting -- then I would buy it. If the appraisal value is a lot higher than the price, I would buy it and be happy to have found such a good price.

Change the tile or remodel in a few years.

 

 

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#22 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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I say no. We did it because we LOVED the backyard, 1/4 acre lot is hard to find in our area and we really dislike the house now. We both wish we didn't rush into it. I suggest keep looking, the once you like will come and you will know it! Good luck!

Aimee Blessed Momma to 4 amazing boys, P ~ 9 H ~ 7 J ~ 4 and B ~ 1.  Happily married to D Living my almost dream life on an urban homestead, hoping for our forever land to find us soon!

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#23 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 04:59 PM
 
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I wouldn't! And watch out for your realtor!
Absolutely agree with this.

If you are working within a budget and depending on your personality, you might never find the house that makes your heart sing. That's okay. That said... It's just a house. Houses come on the market everyday. If you weren't out shopping, you'd be missing out on all these perceived "deals". The right "deal" is finding a home that meets your needs at the price that is comfortable when the time is right. Don't underestimate the stress caused by a bunch of DIY home improvements/repairs. Some people don't like spending every free dollar and minute fixing all the stuff they don't like about their home. (Ahem, been there, done THAT!)

Good luck. Don't let anyone - not your realtor, not your spouse, not the mortgage rates, not your kids/dogs/friends/family, not even those wee voices in your own mind - rush the issue.
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#24 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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Bruce Williams, a financial advisor on the radio always says you should not love something that can not love you back. To me a house is no different. I don't think you necessarily have to love something to buy it. I think you need to have a home that meets your needs and it sounds the house you have described would do that. I don't know if there is ever the "perfect house" unless you build your own.

We bought 7 months ago in a small university town where I work. We looked at 31 properties; everything in our price range. I did not fall in love with anything I saw. The house we bought was the right size for our growing family, close enough so I can walk to work, with two city parks 1 block away in either direction. After being in the house for the past 1/2 a year and having been renovating the entire time, I can say that I still do not love it. It is just a house.
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#25 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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Bruce Williams, a financial advisor on the radio always says you should not love something that can not love you back.
I love this!

I actually totally disagree with the idea that you should "love" a house too. I think its a symptom of our materialism and fantasy culture (like huge expensive weddings). A home is what you make it. I grew up in rundown apartment buildings and my childhood memories are no less magical than those of my peers. Our home centered around our family, not a specific building.

I've seen so many people get into trouble because they got emotionally wrapped up in a house. Everything from buying a house they couldn't afford, to somehow thinking the perfect house will fix their family or social life, to making huge sacrifices to keep their house at the expense of their family time together and family harmony.

As Dave Ramsey says "It's just a house, there's one on every corner."

That said, I wouldn't necessarily buy this house as its at the top of your price point and a buyer's market. I don't think you have to love it, but you shouldn't settle for the first house that meets your needs either (especially if its not cheap).
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#26 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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In the current market, I'd hold out for something that is either more to your liking, or in the lower part of your price range.
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#27 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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No, no, no. Do NOT buy the house.
We did, we really wish we had not.

I haven't read all the replies but I've shared our story a time or two before because we are a cautionary tale. We didn't love it, but there were few houses on the market, we had a tight deadline for buying (or so we thought) and if felt like it was this house or none.

Its not so much that we are miserable or hate the place with strong feelings. Instead, the house is a source of low-grade stress. We aren't happy here. We aren't happy to come home. In return, we don't always take great care of it and the problems we anticipated have created more trouble that you could imagine. If in doubt, say no!

We will be far, far more picky next time we buy.

ETA: We have been here going on 4 years and our feelings have not changed for the better, so its not as though we are just going through buyer's remorse.
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#28 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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I would go for a house at the low to middle of my price range, if it had most things we wanted but I didn't love it. I would never buy a house at the top of my price range that I didn't absolutely love. For two reasons: 1) the top of my price range is reserved for just such a situation LOL and 2) if I spend all my money on a house that I don't love, I don't have any money to change the things that I don't like.
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#29 of 33 Old 01-12-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it. Any house you're going to buy will be a compromise, by definition. You won't find the perfect house in the perfect location with the perfect amenities at the perfect price. The best you can do is find a house that meets all the necessaries and makes you happy at a price you can afford.

This house doesn't sound like it.

Ashley, Pagan treehugger.gif mama to E (6/09) and my beautiful hbac.gif baby T (4/3/12)
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#30 of 33 Old 01-13-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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