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Top Compromises and Non-Compromises for Home Buyers

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 1:59 PM By Koch Properties

Koch Properties: Top Compromises and Non-Compromises for Home Buyers

As an informed home buyer in today's competitive real estate market, you know that some level of compromise is inevitable to find a property that checks most of your boxes within your budget. However, certain features should remain non-negotiable to avoid regretting your purchase down the road. When evaluating properties, focus on the aspects that truly matter for your needs and lifestyle. 

Don't get distracted by flashy extras that won't enhance your enjoyment and use of the space over the long run. Keep your priorities straight and don't compromise on the fundamentals that make a house a home. With strategic compromises and non-compromises in mind, you can find a home that fulfills your most important requirements and sets you up for long-term satisfaction and success as a homeowner.

Location, Location, Location: Why You Shouldn’t Compromise

When buying a home, there are certain factors you shouldn’t compromise on to avoid regretting your decision down the road. Location is one of the most important.

Don’t sacrifice a convenient, suitable location for your needs in favor of a lower price or larger property. The location directly impacts your lifestyle, accessibility, and potentially, resale value.

  • Proximity to work, school, transit, and amenities. Prioritize being within a reasonable commute to work or school and near public transit lines. Also consider proximity to gyms, parks, restaurants, healthcare facilities, etc. depending on your needs.
  • Safety and security. Choose an area with low crime rates and safe infrastructure like well-lit roads.
  • Growth potential. Look for neighborhoods with potential for population and infrastructure growth to benefit from increasing amenities and property values over time.

While you can renovate a home, you can’t change its location. Do thorough research on locations you’re considering to determine the pros and cons of each based on your priorities. A less than ideal location can significantly impact your quality of life and financial wellbeing long-term.

Don’t feel pressured into compromising on location for the sake of a deal. Be willing to walk away from properties in unsuitable areas, and work with a real estate agent who understands your location needs and will help you find viable options within your budget. Your location is a choice that will affect you for years to come, so choose wisely.


The floor plan and layout of a home are challenging and expensive to change. Make sure any home you consider has an layout that suits your needs and lifestyle. This includes elements like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, an open-concept space, a finished basement, a garage, or whatever else is most important to you.

Structural Integrity

Do not compromise on major structural components like the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems. Have a professional home inspector evaluate any home you're seriously considering to identify any major defects or signs of water damage or structural issues. Repairing or replacing these components can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

While elements like stainless steel appliances, granite countertops or a fireplace may be on your wish list, avoid compromising on the fundamentals that really matter in a home. Stay firm in your must-haves for location, layout and structural soundness. The rest you can always upgrade or renovate later to create your dream home. With patience and persistence, you can find a home that checks all the most important boxes without going outside your budget.

Size Matters: Rooms You Can Compromise On

Some rooms that often end up smaller in size are bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. As long as a bedroom can fit a bed, dresser, and maybe an end table, the size should work for sleeping and basic storage needs. A living room mainly used for sitting, reading, and casual socializing doesn’t require an expansive space. And a dining room used primarily for family meals rather than large gatherings will still serve its purpose well even if on the smaller side.

  • Bedrooms: Focus on the number of bedrooms over size. Two smaller bedrooms may suit your needs better than one large master bedroom.
  • Living rooms: Look for open-concept spaces where a living room flows into an eat-in kitchen or dining area. This can make a smaller living room feel more spacious.
  • Dining rooms: Consider a space where you can fit a table that seats 4 to 6 people comfortably. This is suitable for most families and casual entertaining.

While size is important for comfort, don't let smaller square footage deter you if a home meets all your other needs. With some creativity, you can make the most of compact spaces. And in many cases, the lot size, outdoor space, storage options, and overall curb appeal may more than make up for slightly smaller interior rooms. Focus on how you can make a house a home rather than specific room dimensions. With the right layout and design, a cozy space can become your sanctuary.

Curb Appeal: Esthetics You Can Compromise On

Exterior Paint Color

The color of the home’s exterior paint is one area where compromising is typically fine for most buyers. Paint color is easily changed to suit your tastes and needs. When viewing homes, focus more on the condition and quality of the exterior, rather than the particular shade of beige or blue the current owners prefer.


Like paint color, the home’s landscaping and foliage are esthetic elements that can be modified over time as needed. Pay more attention to the overall condition and structural integrity of the yard, ensuring there are no major drainage or foundation issues that could be expensive to remedy. Existing plants and trees, no matter how unappealing, can be removed and replaced. It is often easier to change the landscape of a property than it is to fix underlying issues with the yard itself.

Decor and Furnishings

The interior design style and furnishings of a home are typically reflective of the current owners’ preferences and should not be a deal breaker. Wall colors can be repainted, floors re-finished, and furniture replaced to match your taste. When viewing homes, look past the decor and focus on the architectural details and overall condition and functionality of the space. Cosmetic changes are often easy and inexpensive to make, whereas issues like water damage, pest infestations, or a poor floor plan are not.

In summary, a home’s exterior paint color, landscaping, and interior decor are all esthetic elements that most buyers can feel comfortable compromising on, as they are easily transformed to match your style. Pay closer attention to a home’s structural and functional aspects, as those are not as easily remedied and could end up costing you in the long run. With the help of some paint, plants, and furnishings, you can turn a house into your home.

Koch Properties FAQs: Common Questions About Home Buying Compromises

How Much Should I Compromise On Location?

Location is one of the most important factors for home buyers, as it determines your commute time, neighborhood amenities, and resale value. As a buyer, you should not compromise too much on location. Focus on areas close to work, good schools, public transit, and community facilities. Be open to neighborhoods you may not have initially considered if the location factors are appealing.

What About Compromising On The Condition Or Age Of The Property?

The condition and age of a property can be deal breakers for some buyers but also areas where compromise is possible. Buyers should not compromise on major structural or electrical/plumbing issues, as repairs can be extremely costly. However, cosmetic fixes like flooring, cabinets, lighting fixtures, and paint are cheaper to remedy and areas where compromise may be reasonable if you get a lower price.

How Much Should I Compromise On The Price?

Price is often the top factor that determines if a buyer will compromise on other aspects of a home. As a buyer, you should set a maximum budget and not go above that price. Be willing to compromise modestly on the listing price, around 3-7% lower, to secure a home you love. 

Do not get caught in bidding wars that force you to compromise well beyond your budget. Your agent can provide guidance on reasonable price compromises based on the local market and property values.

FAQs: Common Questions About Home Buying Compromises

  • Should I compromise on the number of bedrooms or bathrooms? Only compromise if the layout still meets your needs. More rooms do not necessarily equal a better home.
  • Should I compromise on amenities like a yard, garage, or storage space? Depends on how important each amenity is to your lifestyle. A yard may be non-negotiable but a garage may be flexible.
  • Will compromising too much hurt my resale value down the road? Possibly, if compromises reduce curb appeal, functionality or make a home undesirable to many buyers. Your agent can assess the potential impact of any compromises on future resale.

In summary, buyers should determine their must-haves and stick to those as much as possible. Compromise on aspects that do not fundamentally impact your needs, wants, budget, or financial well-being. Work closely with your agent to understand where compromise is reasonable and where it should be avoided. An agent has the experience and expertise to guide you through the compromise conundrum.


As you embark on the journey of home ownership, stay true to your priorities and non-negotiables. Don't feel pressured into settling for a property that doesn't meet your basic needs or align with your lifestyle. Compromise on the features that don't really matter to you, but stand firm on the must-haves. 

A home is more than just four walls and a roof over your head. It's the foundation that supports you as you build your life and memories. Make sure it's solid. Do your research, understand your options, and don't be afraid to walk away from a deal that doesn't feel right. The perfect home for you is out there, so take your time and find it. Stay determined and focused on what really counts - the things that will make your house feel like home.