Should You Buy Someone Else’s Customized Home?

Buying a previously-owned customized home can open up some attractive and unusual options for a homebuyer.


You may love everything the former owner incorporated into the house and appreciate the extra amenities. If the features aren’t to your liking, however, you’ll need to factor in the additional cost and inconvenience of remodeling the home.

Here are the four factors to consider when buying a previously-owned customized home.




1. Indoor Customizations

Many typical indoor features are innocuous and often add value to the customized home:

-custom and unusual floor tiles or coverings
-chair rails and ceiling moldings
-special light fixtures
-built-in architectural shelves
-work areas
-movie rooms
-children’s playrooms

Even if you don’t have kids who will use a playroom, it may be easy to modify the space and fixtures to fit your need for a home office. Repainting the walls, removing wallpaper and replacing carpet with something better fitting your taste are things you’d probably do in any previously-owned home, custom or not.

On the other hand, other features might take more time and expense to modify or maintain:

-home gyms
-special electronics, like built-in A/V systems
-central home vacuuming system
-unusual bathrooms
-indoor pools
2. Outdoor Customizations

Customizations extend to the outdoors, too. These can include the following:

-special exterior home trim features such as moldings and cornices
-customized gardens and walkways
-unusual plantings
-swimming pool area
-outdoor cooking and entertaining areas

These options can be wonderful if put to good use, but you don’t want to wind up perplexed as what to do with the spaces. While it may be easy to replace and plant new greenery in the garden, it may be costly to modify custom outbuildings, a pool or entertainment area for other purposes.


3. Buyer Pre-Approval

Keep in mind that customizations to a home can affect financing. When applying for a loan, you may need to create a list of the customizations for the lender. Some banks may not want to loan you the entire amount of the home’s value with the customizations.

Or, you may be required to put down a higher down payment. An appraiser will need to physically visit the property and assign a market value to the home and its customized features.


4. Do You Like the Home?

As with any potential home purchase, envision yourself living in the home. Don’t buy a previously customized home just because it is unique. You have to live there and be comfortable long after you have moved in.

If you don’t like the customizations and want to change them, get remodeling estimates before you buy so you are aware of all the expenses involved. After you have all of the information, put it down on paper and decide if it is worth the extra expense to make changes on top of the selling price.

A previously-owned customized home may just be the house of your dreams—and well worth the cost.


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