If stored properly, wines age nicely- yielding results that are both memorable and savory. The same should be said for houses. If aged well (kept up properly), the result should lend to a beautiful home with personality and curb appeal. Unfortunately, when it comes to houses and wine, this ideal situation is just that – ‘ideal’.
We have started the hunt for a home – taking another step into adulthood and accepting the mothership of responsibility and investment. Our budget is such that we are not within reach of the glamorous new houses, but instead are left with the mere fixer uppers and starter homes.
After looking at a handful of homes and being left with feelings of disappointment and depression, I realized that looking at a prospective home is a lot like tasting wine. While there are a lot of affordable wines out there on the market, not all of them are good, and you have to taste a lot to find those few gems.
To make the home search a little more relevant to me, I have decided that going forward, I will conduct my home search as I would review and taste a wine. I will note my findings on this site.
When trying wine, I look at three different things:
- Visual (the color of the wine)
- Nose (the smell of the wine)
- Palette (the taste of the wine)
And this is how I will apply these to my home viewing:
1. Visual = Curb appeal. How does the house look on the outside. Visual also applies to the neighborhood. It may be a gorgeous house, but in a bad neighborhood. I will keep in mind to not always judge a wine by its label.
2. Nose = What does the house smell like. Odd? I think not. If the house smells like dampness, mold, weird left-over cooking smells (but the house is empty) or something just “off”, those could be signs of other bad things. Think water damage, black mold; not to mention some kind of stank that no amount of bleach will remove.
3. Palette = No, I am not going to taste the house (yuck), but I am going to look at the finishes, home improvements (or attempts of) or the little things that could make or break a home. The house might look pretty at first glance, but closer inspection may reveal cracks or things that we will ultimately have to fix.
One thing to not forget (for both wines and houses) is “potential”. It may be a fixer upper, but the location and the overall house is good. Similar with wine, it may be a bit ‘green’ tasting, but a few years in the cellar make for a great drink.
Honestly, house hunting is not really very fun (sorry, HGTV). There are quite a few houses out there for sale, but you have to weed through all the bad to find the few good.
I am hopeful that taking this new approach, reviewing a home as I would wine, will make these next few weeks or months of house hunting a little more palatable or, at the very least, entertaining.
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