Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Owning your own home is probably one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. At the same time, though, the process of buying a new home is probably one of the most stressful things you will ever go through. You are about to ink a deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and the weight of that pen in your hand is like a ton of bricks on your head. So the last thing you need on your mind, besides those bricks, is the echo of a Home Inspector telling you, “The windows need caulking.”

My advice? Try to keep things in perspective and “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Here is what I mean. If you are taking that step and moving into home ownership, realize that owning a home is a major responsibility and that newly constructed, or 30 years old, all homes need to be maintained. Do it yourself, or hire someone else, it has to be done, maintaining the caulking, the paint, the stain, etc.

The major things you should be concerned with are the Big 5. Now when you’re hunting on the veld in Africa the Big 5 are the lion, the leopard, the rhino, the buffalo, and the elephant but when you are hunting for a home here they are “The Roof”, “The Plumbing”, “The Electric”, “The Heating & Cooling” and “The Foundation”. If a Home Inspector points out issues with any of those, raise an eyebrow and bend an ear because those problems can translate into thousands of dollars in repairs.

Things like ripped screens and missing baseboards may look bad but certainly are not the things that should scuttle a deal. Ask the seller to take care of it, and if they refuse, ask yourself, “Is $100.00 in repairs enough to kill a $200,000 deal?” And if it is, there is probably something else that’s telling you to walk away, and to that I always say, trust your instinct and walk.

Buying a house is a huge investment and a huge commitment that can be one of the most rewarding and challenging things you ever take on. So think it out clearly and “Don’t sweat the small stuff” because as a home owner myself I can tell you, the windows always need caulking.