Sometimes the best deals in real estate aren’t the most appealing in pictures. When looking for a new home there’s often two options: to choose the most expensive but almost ideal home or to get a less good-looking one for a very affordable price.
Many people won’t even bother to go and visit a property whose pictures are those of a cluttered den, but if you are smart enough you can get yourself a very good deal for a cheap price and then renovate it the way you like it, still spending way less than on a newly built one. So we are going to give you a couple of tips to select the diamonds in the rough from all the coal.
Forgive the photographer
Some people or real estate agencies set their ads without professional pictures, which is why you can’t recognize whether the property is worth it or not. Sometimes it has been photographed during the night so the light is not flattering. It can also happen that the picture is crooked, or unfocused or the camera is just very bad. The only solution for this is to try to be patient and focus on what’s important.
X-ray the rooms
Seeing a picture of a home is not seeing the actual place. Try to open your mind and pass through the mess of the current tenants: that stuff is not going to be there when you make the place yours. Forget about those ugly paintings, teardown furniture or tacky curtains and see what lies beneath them. Is there enough space for you? Is there something broken you can’t afford to repair? Do you like the views from the window?
Inspect the walls in the pictures
No, I’m not talking about that hideous wallpaper. The easier way to guess structural or roof problems are scanning the pictures in the ads for moisture, cracks or crooked floors. If you see any, forget about it. This will save you lots of time you can use to look for more fixable properties.
Draw your ideal floor plan
If you are buying the property, that floor plan you hate right now doesn’t have to stay like that forever. Minding which are the load-bearing walls (the ones you won’t be able to remove), you are basically free to make an open space concept, or two rooms out of a large one… Separating walls are easily removed or built for a very affordable price. You can even do it with your friends!
Even if you are just renting the property, you can ask for a floor plan so you can place the images you have seen and have a better mental image of what you will find. This way you will avoid many surprises.