7 Weird Things People Consider Before Buying a House

We’re all thinking it. You were just brave enough to research it.

Talk about taboo

When it comes to house hunting, there’s a handful of basic questions you should ask: How many square feet does the house have? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Does it have a basement? Does it have a yard? Is it in a good neighborhood? Is it in a decent school district? How close is the nearest shopping mall? These are pretty straightforward.

Then there are the oddballs. The questions house hunters are asking (and secretly researching) that are rarely talked about. I asked my fellow colleagues in the CF Marketing department what are some things they (or their friends and family) have taken into consideration before buying a house. You might be surprised at some of the things they said.

1. are you allergic?

Have you ever thought about moving somewhere because of its beautiful foliage? Maybe you’ve considered moving to Georgia for its dreamy Spanish moss or New Mexico so you could have cacti and succulents in your backyard. While this is a factor for some, have you ever thought of the flipside? That’s right, some homeowners specifically don’t move to an area because of the foliage that’s native there.

Dry pollen is easily airborne, and trees like cottonwood, mountain elder, and willow can cause allergies to flare up in some people. Even stranger than researching trees in the area? Bees in the area. Matt Carter, Web Developer, has an interesting experience: “We found out in our research that the neighbor across from the house we were considering is a beekeeper, so they had to warn us in case we were allergic to bee stings.”

2. measure twice, buy once

Home buyers consistently make the mistake of buying things before they measure. In fact, my own friends bought an L-shaped sofa and couldn’t get it in their house. After trying to maneuver it for hours, they took a chainsaw to it and cut it into three pieces! “Really gives meaning to the word sectional. . . .” Copywriter Khari Pressley said.

But aside from measuring for normal things like sofas and beds, we’ve heard of homeowners measuring for some pretty strange items. “My buddy checked the requirements for a golf simulator to ensure it could fit before bidding on a house,” Digital Marketing Manager Elliott Antal commented. What are some other odd things we’ve heard home buyers measure for? Ceiling clearance for animal trophies; aquariums and terrariums; and pool tables, arcade games, and darts—for the man cave, of course.

3. the path of least resistance

Did you know that your daily commute can have an effect on your happiness and well-being? Several organizations in the UK have done research on the topic and an article from The Guardian gives some interesting statistics, stating that anxiety, happiness, and general well-being are affected by “each minute added to a commute.” If that’s the case, home buyers would be wise to research traffic patterns in the area, especially along the route from the home they’re considering to their job location. “It makes working from home that much sweeter—one less item to worry about!” Neil Camm, Web Developer (who works remotely) said.

4. did someone die in this house?

We know, it’s a little morbid. But house hunters have been known to ask their real estate agent (and the seller) this weird question. Here’s what Graphic Designer Kaitlin Larke has to say: “I know I would be checking to see if anyone had died in the house. I wouldn’t want the previous owner sticking around!” You can’t blame her, and neither does Marketing Assistant Amber Johnson: “If a house even looks haunted, I wouldn’t put a bid on it. I’m not taking any chances!”

5. can I check facebook from here?

It’s the digital age, so can you really blame home buyers for wanting a stable internet connection in their homes? “We found a big home for less than $200,000 that was on 19 acres. It had everything you could’ve wanted and it had been listed for months,” Carter said. “That made us wonder, Why hasn’t someone scooped this up already? We looked into everything, thinking something had to be seriously wrong with the place. Come to find out, there were no internet providers for miles.”

Larke has a similar story: “My uncle lives on the side of a mountain and he told me that new houses up there aren’t offered the option of internet access because the servicer refuses to go up there. So those big, beautiful homes have to figure out something else.” No internet? How will they ever survive?!

6. trying to channel my inner Emeril Lagasse

For some home buyers, the make-or-break factor in the decision to bid on a home is lurking behind the walls. A big one for most people? Lack of central air conditioning. To install central A/C in an old home requires lots of work and costs a lot of money. And if you find out the return on your investment isn’t worth it, it’s better to skip that house anyway. Another big one? Gas versus electric heating. “My cousin didn’t put in an offer on a house because the entire home was electric,” Creative Director Erica Lee said. “She refused to cook on an electric range and she didn’t want to make the investment to run gas lines to the house either!” Makes sense: you can’t practice your “BAM!” on an electric stove top!

7. pest control on speed dial

“I get why people live in the South. If you like warmer weather and sandy beaches, it makes sense. That is, until I heard homeowners in the Sunshine State get lizards in their homes. Not spiders, not ants—no, lizards. Thanks, but no thanks!” Graphic Designer Anthony Dean said.

Could pests and other native species really keep someone from moving to a certain region? It does for some, and it’s a question you’ll have to ask yourself. We’ve heard home buyers research everything from emerald ash borer to alligators before deciding to search for a home in that area. What’ll it be for you?

What’s one weird thing you researched before you bought your house? Tell us on social media!

About the Author

Laura is one of our blog authors. Currently living in Charm City, she's a Great Lakes native who likes salsa dancing, brews a mean cup of Joe, and reads the Chicago Manual of Style for fun. As a young first-time home buyer, Laura likes writing educational pieces that dispel mortgage myths and give helpful hints about what the home buying process is really like.