Here’s What to Ignore
Condos can be the ideal purchase for homebuyers who are on tight budgets. They’re typically lower priced than single-family homes, insurance is less expensive and ongoing home maintenance costs are kept to a minimum.
There are some aspects of your OC condo search that should never be ignored, however. These include:
- The periodic association fee and how much it will add to your monthly house payment.
- The homeowner association packet of documents for the homebuyer (it includes vital information).
- Communities with a large number of homes for sale. Do the research required to find out why so many residents are leaving.
When beginning an OC condo search, however, some things are better left ignored.
Try to look beyond the cosmetics
Cosmetic issues are easily remedied and typically inexpensive to fix. Ignore the following during your OC condo search:
Paint colors are personal and what turns on one person may be repulsive to another. Because condos are typically smaller than single-family homes, distasteful wall colors can overtake entire rooms.
Not only that, but the wrong color can make a room appear smaller than it is. Don’t take the paint’s word for it – measure rooms to get the true size.
Then, remember that walls can be transformed relatively inexpensively.
The average square footage of a U.S. condo is 1,482 according to the U.S. Census Bureau (slightly smaller when considering your OC condo search). The nationwide average cost to paint a home this size, without hiring a professional, is between $200 and $300 for basic paint and $400 to $600 for high-quality paint.
Hire a pro to do it for you for about $1,100 to $2,000, according to costhelper.com.
Ignore the walls during your OC condo search – it’s an easy, inexpensive fix.
Dark and gloomy is also an easy fix
Even with all our years of viewing homes, it remains a mystery to us how some people can live in dark, gloomy homes. Even a lack of natural light shouldn’t prohibit someone from introducing artificial light sources to the home, especially when it’s a fact that light helps lift our moods.
Don’t let the gloom stop you from putting in an offer during your OC condo search on a property that offers most everything else you are seeking in a home. Lighting is inexpensive and, the right fixtures can transform your home.
The personal stuff will be gone
We get it. All that dated furniture, the collections of books, knick-knacks or other items, family photos and other personal items and clutter are distracting.
And, although it may be challenging, it’s important to remember that it will all be gone when you move in. Look beyond the clutter to the basic flow of each room — the “bones” of the home during your OC condo search.
The flip side is just as dangerous
While ugly interiors can be distracting, so can gorgeous ones. Stagers are skilled at making homes appear move-in ready and at creating interiors that appeal to a broad range of homebuyers.
Don’t buy into the fantasy
Those Imperial silk draperies will most likely go home with the stager when the home is sold. Ditto for all the accessories that go into the psychological appeal of the room, the throw pillows, fresh flowers and plants and mirrors and artwork.
Staged rooms you see during your OC condo search also may not be as large as you think they are. Some stagers use smaller-scale furniture to trick the eye into making a room appear bigger. Paint colors are likewise chosen to make homes seem roomier.
If in doubt as to whether or not your furniture will fit in the home, measure each room.
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) cautions homebuyers that stagers often use “furniture and wall hangings to cover up or direct a buyer’s attention away from floor damage or wall damage.”
They also remind homebuyers that staged homes are often perceived as being well-maintained homes. Often, this perception is far from reality.
“Many times, staged homes take advantage of the staging to cover up deferred maintenance issues and improper construction and repair issues,” they say in the 2007 report, “How to Not Get Tricked by Staging, and Potentially Save $5,645 when you Buy your Home.”
Ignore the staging and perform your due diligence by looking behind wall hangings and under rugs and furniture during your OC condo search.
Whether the homes you visit on your OC condo search are diamonds in the rough or staged to perfection, it pays to look beyond the cosmetics to whether the space works for your needs and lifestyle.
Considering a new construction home? First and foremost, read my blog Buying New Construction in Orange County. Tip: Make sure you bring your agent (me 🙋🏻♀️) with you on your first visit, or risk losing representation altogether. Also, review my Tips for Touring Model Homes.
If you are considering beginning your OC condo search this year, please reach out. We can explore if an Orange County condo may be the right fit for your needs. I would be honored to be your Realtor of choice!
Looking for more information on the home-buying process? Read my Guide to Buy a Home in Orange County.
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