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Drawbacks of Buying a Custom Home: When a Dream Becomes a Nightmare

A custom home, for all intents and purposes, is the dream home of its original owner. It has everything in it that they wanted in their home; and just how they wanted it. There can be many drawbacks to buying a custom home, but if you’re careful, you can use them to your advantage.

Property Values

First, look at the property values of the places around the custom home that you are considering. If the property values of the homes surrounding are approximately $150,000, and the owners are asking $300,000, you will, more than likely, not get financing for the asking price.

My husband and I rented a beautiful home in Sacramento. The landlady had been trying to sell the house for years. Because she owed more for the house than she could sell it for, she could not sell the house for what it was worth, and still not owe money. No one wants to be in this situation.

Bathroom Fixtures

When people have a custom home built, they usually have the bathroom fixtures put in according to their stature.

My husband and I purchased a home once without taking this into account. Boy, were we ever sorry. I am 5″8″ and my husband is 6″. This is not overly tall, but the previous owners of the house we purchased were considerably shorter, and they had the showers and toilets fixed accordingly. I had to bend in the shower to wash my hair, and practically roll off the toilet when I was finished using it.

Shortly after moving in, we had to tear out part of both bathroom walls to bring the shower heads up, and replace both toilets. It was an unexpected, and unnecessary expense. If we were more aware before purchasing, we could have made this repair work part of the sell.

The Size of Your Family and Utilities

If you are considering buying a home from an older couple, and you have three teenagers; you better have a good look at the hot water heater.

Most tract homes have a standard size hot water heater in them. A custom home is going to have in it, what the original owners needed and wanted. You will have a very unhappy family if they constantly run out of hot water when they shower.

In the City Limits or Out

If the custom home is within the city limits, there should be no problem with water and sewer; but outside the city limits is another matter completely. You are probably looking at a well and pump to get water into the house; and a septic system for refuse leaving the house. If there is a septic system, how long since it has been cleaned out?

Right Handed or Left

This might seem like a trivial thing, but when considering buying a custom home, and you are predominately right – handed and the previous owner was predominately left – handed; closets and drawers are not going to be in the right place for you.

My mom and I have a terrible time working in each other’s kitchens. I am right – handed and she is left. Nothing is in the right place for either of us.

These things may seem like trivial matters, but when they can become quite serious when purchasing a custom home.

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