3 Types of Home Buyers You’ll See at a Home Inspection

Tonight I’m taking my home buyer’s class on an inspection. Every class is different.

But after teaching over 50 home inspection classes, I know I’m going to see three types of home buyers.

Which one are you?

Home Buyer Looking for Her Dream House

This type of home buyer compares every house she enters with an ideal in her mind.

How good is the lighting? How large are the rooms? Is the kitchen easy to cook in? What does the flow feel like?
 

This is someone's dream kitchen.

Who needs to know if the heat works when you have a kitchen like this?


 
It’s good to know what you want. And looking at houses, even houses you won’t be buying, can educate your eye.

But I’ve noticed one thing about this type of home buyer—they hate basements. They’re also not terribly interested in roofs, gutters, or siding.

They spend so much time thinking about the fun parts of living in a house that they forget to think about maintaining it.

I’ve even met one who installed all new carpets in her house before repairing the leaky roof. One good rain ruined the rugs.

If this is you, look up. And look out. You want to be sure the wet basement or rotting window sills don’t ruin your enjoyment of that gorgeous floor plan.

Home Buyer Looking for Problems

Other home buyers spend a lot of time looking around outdoors before heading straight to the basement.

How old is the furnace? Is the hot water heater leaking? How long before that dead tree limb falls on the garage roof?

I’m thrilled to see home buyers paying attention to the systems and structure of a house.

But sometimes they spend so much time looking for disasters that no house is ever good enough.
 

This is a grey garage with a red door.

Sure, the garage looks good. But what do you think is hiding under that pile of leaves?


 
All houses have something wrong with them. And owning a house means doing regular maintenance and repairs.

So look for the problems. But don’t see anything less than perfection as unacceptable. Figure out what issues you feel most comfortable dealing with and learn how to fix them.

Home Buyer Looking for Decorating Ideas

Usually our class meets in a house being newly built or renovated by the nonprofit I work for.

But occasionally we’ve inspected my home.

It’s always gratifying when someone likes my paint colors or Indian print bedspread. But it won’t help them buy a house.

And maybe they don’t need to own a house. After all, you can hang beautiful prints and curtains in an apartment.
 

A pretty child's room is painted bright green.

Gotta add this to my Pinterest board of decorating ideas.


 
At the very least, if someone isn’t interested enough in a house to ask herself if she could live there or what’s potentially wrong with it, she might not be ready to buy.

And that’s fine.

If you take a home buyer education class just to learn you don’t want to buy a house after all, or you don’t want to buy one yet, you’ve just learned a valuable lesson.

Your Turn: Do you resemble any of these styles of home buyers? Or are you a mix of two or three?

photo credits: (Dream Kitchen) NancyHugoCKD.com cc, (Garage) chris.corwin cc, and (Green Room) © 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography cc all via photopin. Click on the images to learn more about the photographers.

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