We are living in an age where HGTV sets the tone for the real estate industry. It’s fun to watch, it’s visually appealing, and I’ll be the first one to say I’m a big fan. However, what makes for good TV in popular culture doesn’t always translate into a good homebuying strategy. How many times do the TV couples select their new abode based on the fixtures or staged furniture? It happens in real life all the time.
What HGTV neglects to tell viewers is fixtures and staging are just peripheral bells and whistles. These are all things that can be fixed, swapped, or improved upon with time, money, and a little elbow grease. In my opinion, the first place a homebuyer should look is the basic floorplan.
Floorplans aren’t flashy eye candy, and rarely make appearances on reality real estate shows – but they’re the best way to get an idea of the home’s layout without any design input. I know, it sounds boring – but what better way to draw imaginative inspiration than through a pure, blank canvas?
We are a visual society, and the real estate and design industries have capitalized on this. Home stagers and virtual stagers have lucrative careers making a space seem visually appealing, but homebuyers are in for a big surprise when they walk into the space without the furniture to see it barely resembles the idyllic scenes supplied by professional interior designers. The floorplan allows you to see what you’re working with in the simplest form.
If the floorplan has a funky layout, that’s way more expensive to fix than changing floors, faucets, or countertops. You can visualize what it would be like to knock down walls and make a bigger master, or find the perfect place to build out a dream walk-in closet.
Floorplans are my new obsession, and they should have been my starting point all along. They are vital to the home buying process because they are the sum of the parts of any home. Do yourself a favor and ask your real estate agent or architect to dig up the floorplan and take a good look at it. Identify any problems before you walk into a place on your first visit. Your mind’s eye will thank you in the end, as well as your wallet!