Identifying Your “Do NOT Want” List for the Perfect Home

by Tommy SibigaJune 16, 2015

do-not-wantFinding the perfect home can be a tedious task. It’s easy to focus on items that are “must haves,” but in order to effectively eliminate homes from your list, it’s worthwhile to recognize items on your “do not want” list. Some of the things that you “do not want,” may be equally as important as those “must haves.” Home buying is a process of elimination. Knowing both your desirable features and your undesirable features will save you time down the road to finding your dream home.

According to a recent survey posted by the National Association of Home Builder’s, the number one feature that people do no want is an elevator in their home. In essence, an elevator is such a non-negotiable, a buyer would decline to purchase a home because of it. Having a shower without a tub in the master bathroom also ranked highly on the “undesirable” list. Recently, consumers view two-story family rooms and/or foyers as less desirable. A few other common features towards the top of the list are: wet bars, laminate countertops, laundry chutes, and outdoor kitchens.

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Typically, it’s not until after you’ve walked through a few homes that you begin to realize items on your own unwanted list. Some buyers now-a-days do not want a formal living room. Some prefer an eat-in kitchen over a formal dining room. Most consumers want a full room dedicated to utilities and are less accepting of a home with a utility closet. You could alter some of the interior configuration of a home down the road, but it’s helpful to evaluate what projects you are willing to take on and which ones you are NOT.

Think about some of the exterior features that are deal breakers as well. The most common feature I can think of is a pool. An in-ground pool (or even most above-ground pools) can not easily be removed, and therefore is often on a buyer’s unwanted list. I’ve seen a few houses lately with tennis courts, basketball courts, and other athletic structures that may not appeal to all buyers. Additionally, some purchasers do not want a large yard, some do not want a small yard. Some buyers don’t like a corner lot, while others don’t want a cul-de-sac lot. As you’re shopping, begin to note your likes and dislikes of outdoor features and where/how the home is situated on a lot.

Of the top six “unwanted” features of the National Association of Home Builder’s survey, four of them concerned the communities surrounding the home. A large percentage of buyers do not want a golf course community, a high density community, a gated community, or a mixed-use community. As you think about the community surrounding your home, be sure to contemplate features that you do not want. Many of my buyers want to escape Home Owner’s Associations. They do not want the fees and regulations associated with an HOA. On the flip side, some of my buyers will ONLY consider communities that have a neighborhood pool/clubhouse… nd thus they will have HOA dues. Are there amenities about the community that are must haves; are there features that you do not want?

Making a list of features you dislike will help eliminate potential homes during your home search. Prioritizing that list from “absolutely can not live with” to a “not preferred but could be corrected” category is a good exercise to go through. Discussing these thoroughly with whomever you may be co-owning the property is also a helpful step in choosing the perfect home. Likewise, conversations with your real estate professional will allow him/her to give you the best customer service. Ultimately, it can be just as important to identify what you want as what you don’t want.

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Tommy Sibiga