I’m not sure why but when you say you’re buying a house (or apartment) people suddenly seem to think they have the right to give you all sorts of advice – whether your want it or not!
We’ve definitely had a lot of help over the years but along with lots of positivity and helpful advice, there are always people that want to see the worst in everything. People have opinions they feel they have to share with you and it’s quite frankly annoying.
Yes, I see the irony in this and I know that this sounds like a completely ridiculous thing to say, considering that we share a big portion of our lives on the internet for everyone to see!
This isn’t meant to sound overly negative, either. Buying and renovating a home is a big deal and there are always bound to be positive and less positive experiences you’re going to make. It’s just the way it is!
Looking back, we can now laugh at some of the worst advice we received (how wrong people can be!) and we thought it would be fun to share some of the not-so-helpful advice we have had to deal with along with some of our home & home improvement related tips.
Let’s start with (just some of) the worst home advice we received:
1. Don’t buy the house it’s too expensive
I should point out that anyone who knows me will know that I’m super pedantic when it comes to research. There was no way we were ever going to invest thousands of pounds into something without knowing (as much as possible) that it is a good investment.
In the UK it’s really easy to research house prices and whilst you won’t necessarily be able to compare the condition of one house to the next you can get a very good overview of what is a fair price.
House prices vary drastically, sometimes even from one street to the next, so most people giving you “advice” probably aren’t even aware of what is a fair price in your area. Talking about money with people can also quickly become really weird. People have ideas on how you should be spending your money and love to tell you that you’re spending too little or too much.
2. Don’t buy the house it needs work
Again, we did as much research before buying our house as we could. We had a fancy survey carried out, we had an architect look at it and we made a careful list of everything that was wrong with it.
A lot of the “advice” we received came from people who hadn’t even seen the house in real life! Telling us that our exterior wall looked damp from looking at a 5-year-old picture on Google Streetview really wasn’t helpful!
Did our house need a lot of work? You bet it did! But we knew what we were letting ourselves in for and we were able to make a good profit when we sold our house for that reason.
3. Don’t paint your walls a colour – everyone wants white walls because they look clean
We thought carefully (maybe too carefully) about the colours we used in our home. Whilst it may not have been to everyone’s taste we did get a lot of very positive feedback.
It was our home and we painted it how we wanted. We didn’t do it to please anyone else but we still had people tell us that it should be painted all white to sell. I mean why?!
I understand that dark walls aren’t for everyone but for us colour makes a home come alive. Having white walls really doesn’t mean that people will perceive a space as cleaner or even brighter.
4. Don’t buy the house you’ll be stuck there and won’t be able to sell/move
We sold our house in the space of a weekend. It all snowballed and we were in no way ready to sell with loads of unfinished DIY projects all around the house (even our steel beam wasn’t boxed in!). We didn’t have a chance to do any prep work and even though it was still a partial building site it still sold.
Were we lucky? Honestly, I don’t think so. We did our research when we bought the house and knew it was a really popular area so we had the security of knowing that we’d be in a good position if we ever did want to sell.
Don’t worry though, we’re not just going to leave here with all of this doom and gloom. As bizarre as some of the advice we’ve received may seem, none of it was actually helpful or true.
So, here’s some of our best advice:
1. Trust your instincts
Different people have different priorities, different bank balances and different opinions. You’re never going to please everyone so don’t bother even trying to! Do your research, be prepared and trust your instincts.
2. Know when you have to call the professionals
As much as we’re big fans of DIY it’s also important to know your limits and know when it’s best to leave a job to the professionals.
Sometimes there’ll be paperwork required which means you won’t be able to carry out a job yourself and other times it may just be a job that’s too big or complex. Knowing when to take a step back will save you time and money in the long run!
3. You can do more than you think!
Honestly, you can! It may not always feel like it but the biggest DIY jobs are often just a big collection of lots of little ones. Break things down, take it step by step and ask for help. Everyone has to start somewhere!
Build up your skills over time and give things a try – you’ll be surprised at just how much you can achieve! I still can’t get over that we replaced our garage roof ourselves!
4. It gets easier!
I’m not going to lie, there will be times when it’s tough and you ask yourself what on earth you were thinking about starting a DIY project. There will be times when it’s annoying and frustrating, times when you argue with everyone around you and times when it just doesn’t seem worth the hassle.
Overall though, it’s also one of the most rewarding things you’ll do. Standing back and seeing something you’ve accomplished yourself gives you such a buzz that you’ll soon get addicted!
Most importantly though, it does get easier. The more you learn and the more projects you complete the easier it’ll be. Promise!
What’s the worst home advice you received? Have you ever received any good advice? Do you also find people have an opinion on everything and feel they just have to share it with you?