My Best Advice for Homebuyers

Homebuying Blake Bailey February 27, 2024

When buying a house-- focus on the things you CAN'T change, not the things that you can. 

No-- you didn't read that wrong and it was not a typo. When buying a home, focus on the things that you cannot change-- and just be organized in your thoughts about the things that you can change.
My name is Blake Bailey and I've been an agent/top producer in the Rockwall area for nearly a decade now. It's so easy on your first few house hunts to be swooned by granite counters, the designer looking greige paint, the new waterproof luxury vinyl plank flooring (although not really that waterproof--FYI), and the staging that takes a stab at making homes look like a discount blend of Joanna Gaines and Becki Owens. While it is possible for you to "live, laugh love" in these situations, it's a cheap and understandably enticing trap that can draw you in and leave you tremendously frustrated 12-18 months after you've purchased the home I'm describing if you haven't zoomed out to appreciate the bigger picture.
Let me explain.
I really hold no grievance to any single example that I just listed. I hold no grudge against luxury vinyl plank (LVP), staging, greige, and the Lord knows Owens and Gaines have talents I will never personally have or know. Flooring can change. Haven't you heard earth tones and Creed have been making an equally impressive comeback at the past few years? My strong grievance is held against cheap upgrades and altered photography that has lured many new buyers into overlooking otherwise crucial criteria in exchange for the illusion of "updated" and "new." 
Focus on the 100-year old live oak in the backyard. Focus on the schools. Focus on the fact that you can walk to your church-- or that you aren't necessarily in the house of your dreams-- but you are in the neighborhood of your dreams! Focus on on your daily life and what that looks like in a particular home-- not on whether you prefer marble over quartz. Formica can be for you-- if you believe in yourself. I would go out on a limb and argue that a really good house 7-minutes from work, trumps a great house with a twice-a-day 90-minute commute. 
When you focus on the big things that can't change-- schools, house layout, proximity to family and friends (yes this can change-- but you get my point), trees, lot size, lot orientation etc-- you can create a space and a room to tolerate the things you don't like that CAN change until you change them. I personally-- do not have a pantry, a garage spot for my truck, split bedroom floorplan, and I'm on septic. But what I do have is 1.1 acres that backs up to no one, a 5-minute commute to my wife's office, 7-minute commute to mine, better neighbors than I could have ever imagined, and my kiddos grandparents are both within 5-minutes of our house. I'll take that over a pantry any day. 
I want to end this blurb with an encouragement. In the grand scheme of homeownership-- granite is cheap, trends come and go, photography can be more manipulative than statistics, and painting is really not that hard and quite fun with the right attitude. Colossians 3:2 tells all of God's people to set our minds on things above-- not on what is earthly. Focus on the things that bring you peace and fill your cup when creating a home out of a house-- don't focus on what looks good on Instagram. 
Grace Abounds.

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