Watch Out: 3 Signs You’re Suffering from Home Buyer’s HGTV Syndrome

couple with real estate agent

If you ask homebuyers what they look for in a property, they would probably tell you: gourmet kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, shiplaps everywhere, gold fixtures and hardware, and of course, the must-have granite countertops. In other words, they described what an HGTV-renovated house looks like. There’s nothing wrong with it actually, but when you expect your next home to be like those on TV, then you’re setting yourself for disappointments along the way. Not to mention, you could mess up your entire home buying journey. Here are the signs you have the “HGTV syndrome”:

Your must-haves are really just nice-to-haves.

If your list of essentials includes flashy amenities and shiny upgrades, those aren’t essentials. For sure, you know that they aren’t. The real essentials are simple. They’re the ones you would prioritize if your budget is limited. They’re the ones that would help maintain your lifestyle. Believe it or not, your non-negotiables should include only two things: the number of rooms and the overall layout of the house.

The number of rooms is a priority, as it should complement the number of family members. The floor plan is also essential because it will dictate the movement of people. Open concept is ideal for families who are more outgoing and interactive. Closed-off plans, on the other hand, are for those who value personal space and quiet time.

When you’re more fixated with the furniture arrangement or the choice of appliances more than the floor plans and number of rooms in a property you’re visiting, you know you got the HGTV syndrome. Better rethink your priorities now.

You can’t find the “perfect” home.

You’ve gone to 10 (or even 20) properties already and you tell yourself, you still haven’t found “the one.” Real talk: the perfect home only exists on television. It’s perfect because it obscures the flaws and emphasizes the good ones with good lighting.

The truth is, every home has some tradeoffs. For instance, you may have a good-looking kitchen, but it may not have that much space for all your stuff. You may have a big bedroom, but it faces the hideous yard of your neighbor.

There are drawbacks — always. Stop looking for the perfect home and settle for the “just right,” meaning the one that ticks off your essentials. The real ones. Remember that the just right home is the one that won’t let you break the bank. If you haven’t decided on how much you can afford, shop around for loans and compare mortgage rates. Utah-based financial experts recommend getting at least three quotes from different lending agencies to get a competitive deal.

You don’t pay attention to the location.

home buying concept

What renovation shows do inadvertently is to put good-looking homes on a pedestal — to the point that some homebuyers are willing to trade off a lifestyle-fitting location for a home that looks straight out of an HGTV episode. You might find yourself moving into a property that’s an hour drive away from your office or into a neighborhood that parties every weekend. Not minding the location is often the biggest regrets of homebuyers. Don’t jump into the bandwagon and stick to your ideal location. Remember that you can easily change the look of your home, but not your address.

Have you caught the HGTV syndrome? If yes, there’s only one cure. Take a break from all that late-night binge watching (or scrolling through Pinterest). Be realistic about your needs. Keep your eyes fixed to it.