I’ve been watching House Hunters and International House Hunters. I am always amazed by the people they profile. Maybe they are looking for people who are a pain in the ass or a cry baby. I don’t know. But it always cracks me up when you see these people who have a small budget and want the world. What’s that they call it? Champagne tastes on a beer budget?
You get the real estate agents who tell them they are not going to get everything they want on their budget but these people still insist. Listen! You are looking for a house for the first time. Or perhaps you are looking for an apartment in a completely different country. I would be willing to bet the real estate agent knows the market just a tiny bit better than you! I love the guy on Property Brothers because he takes the clients out to a house that has everything on their wish list. Once they’re done ooh’ing and ah’ing over the perfect home he drops the list price on them. It is always way out of their reach.
You have the Americans who are relocating overseas and they want all of the American amenities with the cultural charm of their current city. I’ve never lived overseas; I have however heard from quite a few people who have, whether they’re Americans who have relocated or simply citizens of another country. We’re gaudy over here. We have McMansions and lots and lots of space. I watched one episode and the people had no idea that most of the apartments didn’t have closets. They typically also did not have lights, unless it was the bathroom and kitchen, which I didn’t know either. We’re a relatively new country compared to others. You move to Europe you’re looking at buildings that are hundreds of years old! We just don’t have that. Plus, all the excess storage so many of our homes have. Dishwashers, washing machines… not to say that there are no houses in other countries with those appliances, but in some countries it is not a given.
And then you have the people who are buying houses here in the USA. Some of the things they look for are ridiculous, and their comments border on insanity.
I’ve bought a lot of houses. These are things I’ve discovered.
- Paint is fairly cheap and the results are pretty much instantaneous. Hell, I painted an entire room with a tiny trim roller while waiting for the power paint brush to get fixed. It took a little longer, but it did get done! If you don’t like the ugly brown walls, paint them! The owner will not be offended; they won’t even know you’ve done it. If you’re not a fan of drab beige or white, paint them!
- If you don’t like the couch or the comforter on the bed, good news! The owners will be taking those things with them!
- Typically you are going to find a lot of similar things in your budget. It’s not like one house in your budget is going to have formica countertops, tiny bedrooms, and outdated bathrooms while the next house ALSO IN YOUR BUDGET has granite countertops, huge bedrooms, and bathrooms with a walk in shower and Jacuzzi tub. Sure, you may luck out and get a huge master bedroom in one house while the others have regular size bedrooms. Or maybe one of the bathrooms has been spectacularly redone, but generally, it’s going to be a wash. The difference is going to be in the floor plans most likely.
- It is very rare that you will ever find a house that is absolutely perfect. I’ve had houses that I’ve really loved, but even those weren’t perfect. In probably my favorite house ever the master bedroom was so small we couldn’t even fit all of our bedroom furniture in the room. But the rest of the house was amazing.
- And Jeez Louise! If you’re moving to the Virgin Islands take the damn house with the million dollar views and swimming pool over the stupid condo! If I’m moving thousands of miles away from home I’m not downsizing from a 4000 square foot house into a 1400 square foot condo. Especially one with no view and no charm (from what I could see).