When people are looking for their dream home, sometimes they get a bit too caught up in little fantasies along the way. While it is part of my job to highlight the special features that make a home unique, I also like to remind my clients to not get too carried away and to focus on the bigger, more important picture -- the actual home. When they say "the devil is in the details," often it's that beautiful and interesting feature that makes you forget what's most important about finding your new home.
Granted, people don't generally buy a home specifically because of the special features, but I have seen them become major contributors to key decisions that were later regretted.
For instance, I once had a client that was looking at two different homes. One of them had more features that suited her needs, but the other, a cool vintage property, had a rather unique fireplace. She went with the home with the unique fireplace. Two years later, she put the house back on the market to look for a place like the one she passed on, and she had only used the fireplace four times.
Obviously, in Florida we don't get many occasions to actually use a fireplace (though those occasions are sublime). That said, fireplaces are still a feature that people adore. Although fireplaces and similar luxury features do bring extra value to the home, it's important to consider the actual impact they will have on your life compared to other amenities you might be sacrificing for the sake of the unique.
You also need to ask if the uniqueness can be replicated. I once had a client who was completely enamored with the stained glass windows in a certain home, but there were other features of the home that just didn't work for her. When she did eventually find a home that better fit her sensibilities, she managed to find a similar set of stained glass windows at a local architectural salvage and installed them in a home that did work for her.
I've seen a similar phenomenon happen with an in-home theater. A movie buff husband absolutely fell in love with a particular room because of the surround-sound system, projector wall, comfy seating with retractable tables, and a built-in refrigerator. For a little while, he didn't even want to look at other houses until we found one with a room in which he could recreate the theater that had inspired him.
Ultimately, that's what the search for your dream home is ultimately about: inspiration. As you're looking for the location in which you're going to create your new life, every house you visit has the potential to give you an idea about the life you really want. Whether it be crown molding, statuary, landscaping, or any other special feature, let these details speak to you and inspire you, but don't let them yell too loudly.
Could you use a pro's help in your search for a dream home? Contact Julian today.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist