Shopping for a home? 10 tips to help you avoid impulse buying

Jennifer Y. Ross
Published on June 19, 2019

Shopping for a home? 10 tips to help you avoid impulse buying

When we think about the impulse purchase, most of us picture a grocery store. After all, retailers purposefully set up their stores to encourage us to pick up and purchase items on a whim.

If you, like millions of consumers, like to shop for fun, if you are status conscious or if you find that you spend money without thinking about what you are buying or why you’re buying it, you may be an impulse shopper, according to Ian Zimmerman Ph.D. at psychologytoday.com.

It’s one thing to grab a candy bar at the checkout stand in the grocers, but to grab a new home? Not good.

We see the tendency often in our real estate business. Clients who have a wish list that they swear is set in stone yet fall madly in love with a home that offers few of the items on the list.

Let’s look at ways to avoid giving in to the impulse to buy a home that doesn’t match your wants and needs.

The wish list

The most important features you want in a home go at the top of your home-shopping wish list. These are the non-negotiables – the extra bedroom, perhaps, or a community amenity you need.

These items should be in big, bold lettering so that when you glance at your list, there’s no way to miss them.

Not all these tips may apply to your situation, so use them as a guide to help you shop intelligently for that new home.

  1. Many homebuyers insist that appliances be included in the purchase of their new home. If you are among them, we’ll need to find out how old they are. Then, be nosy – peek inside the oven and inspect the refrigerator. This will give you an idea of how well the homeowner has cared for them.
  2. After the kitchen, home shoppers tend to spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Check these rooms carefully to ensure they will fit your needs. If you use electrical outlets a lot, check that there are enough and that they’re in the proper place for your needs. A blow dryer plugged into a socket 3 feet from the mirror won’t cut it. Is there adequate bathroom storage and lighting? If not, how challenging would it be to add these features?
  3. Speaking of storage, does the home offer enough of it? Check the closets, pantry and other storage areas to ensure they meet your needs.
  4. Flooring is often a sticking point in a home sale. Whether it’s not the material you’d hoped for (carpet instead of wood, vinyl instead of carpet, etc.) or the flooring is damaged, it’s important to not overlook this inspection. Flooring is pricey.
  5. Don’t be so awed by the kitchen’s staging that you fail to ensure it meets your needs. Picture yourself using it – does it flow the way you need it to? Is there enough storage?
  6. Lighting is another often-replaced item in a new home. Determine if it’s adequate and how much of it will need to be replaced.
  7. The condition and age of the HVAC system and the water heater are important as well. This is another very expensive fix or replacement.
  8. How do the schools in the area stack up against others in the region? Even if you don’t have school-aged children, nearby schools can impact the home’s value.
  9. Check your wish list for items you must have. For instance, if appliances are on the list, find out if they’re included in the sale. Never assume and always ask.
  10. Never allow yourself to become so enamored with a home that you ignore major problems on the home inspection report. These don’t necessarily have to be a deal breaker. With the right agent, negotiations may bring about a solution.

This is a very cursory overview of ways to keep your wits about you when shopping for a home for sale.

You can find a more in-depth checklist at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website. We suggest you print several copies – one for each home you view.

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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS

Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.

Professional Associations & Accreditation

Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS).  Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s

Website: westchesterliving.house

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