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9 Home Flaws That Aren’t Deal-Breakers

That funny smell, that hideous paint? These might seem like reasons to pass over a potential new home, but they may not be as problematic as you think.

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That Yellow Refrigerator

Of course you want a Sub-Zero fridge and a Viking six-burner gas range—who doesn’t? But if the house has a yellow fridge from the ’60s, that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, says Corbett. “The kitchen is the heart of the home, and often the appliances aren’t going to live up to your dreams,” he says. “As long as you have room in your budget or a timeline to replace the existing appliances, try and look past it.” Also, keep in mind that cabinets, pulls, and sinks/faucets can usually be replaced easily and cheaply—and can instantly upgrade any kitchen.

Nasty Flooring

When you move into a new abode, you’ll probably want to replace the old carpet and get a clean “sweep”—and it’s affordable to do so. “There are so many great new fibers and fabrics out there now, so you have lots of great cost-effective choices that have great durability,” says Corbett. “If you want to go the hardwood route, there are an array of synthetic alternatives that mimic the look of real wood but at a fraction of the cost.”

Funky Smells

Does the house smell like an ashtray/kitty litter box/landfill? With the exception of a serious mold problem, an odd smell is likely nothing a deep cleaning can’t fix, say Corbett. “Plug your nose and focus on the home’s bones and potential when you give it your own touch,” he says. When it’s yours, you can aerate it, rip out the carpet and drapes, and throw some fresh paint on the walls—it will seem as good as new.

No Curb Appeal

“I actually love a house with no curb appeal,” says Corbett. “It’s one of the easiest fixes, but so many people are put off by it, you’re more likely to get a great deal on a house without it.” If you’re not saying “wow” when you first drive up, just close your eyes and envision a different colored front door and some new landscaping.

Popcorn Ceilings

Yes, they’re so 1980s, but they’re also an easy fix. “A ceiling specialist can come in and scrape it off in a matter of days,” says Corbett. “Just make sure you have it done before you move in—it is a messy job. Whatever you do, don’t try to tackle this one yourself.”

Lack of Privacy

”People freak out when they walk into a home and see the neighbors, or look out windows and look right into the dining room of the house next door,” says Corbett. “But landscaping can fix any privacy issue.” Put up a hedge and you’re done. It’s an instant fix—and hedges make great neighbors.

—Written by Colleen Oakley 

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