What Not To Look At When Buying A House

Just as important as the list of things to consider when buying a house is the list of things to ignore or not get swayed by. Tilottoma, Bangladesh’s leading interior design firm, brings you the details

Have you ever been in the situation where the best thing about a package is that it’s well-wrapped?

Well, regardless of whether you have or haven’t, you can imagine how you’d feel when you unwrap a really gorgeously wrapped package to uncover contents that just are not to your liking.

Think how you would feel while sipping a soft drink that’s very attractively packaged, with bright colours and images of actors on the bottle but the actual drink having a very ordinary taste.

It’s much the same with houses.

Buying a house is a major decision; and you should carefully look over the home to decide whether it really is what you need.

However, in our consultations with our clients, Tilottoma has often found that people concentrate, or are swayed by, on the wrong things and end up making a decision based on irrelevant or incorrect facts.

As a responsible Bangladeshi interior design company, Tilottoma wants to empower interior design clients out there.

And that is why we decided to compile a list of the things that you shouldn’t focus on when buying your home.

Does that mean that you should avoid looking at them altogether?


You should always look at all the features a house has to offer when you’re thinking of buying it.

What I’m saying is that there are some features that people get swayed by when looking at a house. And they place undue importance on these features – which results in erroneous buying decisions which are sometimes later regretted.

Why should buying decisions place less importance on these features?

The exact reasons vary but there are two most prominent reasons

  • You can replace them with something you like better at a far cheaper cost than the house
  • You should really be concentrating on a related issue

So, what are the features one should not base their home buying decisions on?

1. Lighting features. Many sellers will proudly flash the lighting arrangements as ‘very beautiful’ or ‘state of the art’.

Don’t be swayed by such self-promoting words.

Yes, bright lighting arrangements or lighting arrangements that provide just the kind of light you need (with dimmers etc) or lighting that just looks good (like chandeliers) definitely add value to the house, you can set them up yourself with a far lower investment than the house.

What you should be looking at instead are

  • The condition of the wiring. If necessary, get an electrician to check it out.
  • If you are eco-conscious, also check out whether you can install a solar power setup.

2. Decorative millwork. What is millwork? Millwork is any product that is produced by a woodmill. These are used in building construction and interior design.

Most types of millwork are aesthetically pleasing and definitely add an aristocratic touch to your home.

However, many builders use such decorative additions to unreasonably increase home prices. You may be able to install such artwork by yourself later, at far lower prices.

Since these are merely artistic features, you would be well advised to not focus on them when making a purchase decision.

3. Plumbing fixtures. By plumbing fixtures, I mean stuff like taps/faucets, sinks etc.

Are such features merely for decorative purposes? By no means, they do have their uses.

However, it is clear that they do have a high aesthetic value too.

Sometimes, people get carried away by such fixtures and don’t focus on real issues like the state of the plumbing (pipes). But you won’t, since Tilottoma told you what to focus on.

4. Colours. Does getting your home painted cost a lot? Well, it’s not cheap.

Is it a hassle getting your home painted? Definitely. You need to avoid paint falling on things and surfaces you don’t need painted plus there’ll be paint fumes to avoid.

Does a well-painted home mean you can go ahead and buy? No.

One, the paint will very likely not last very long. You will need to get a fresh coat of paint anyway; so remember that the premium you may be asked to pay for the house being painted when you buy could be too high.

Two, paint sometimes hides serious faults like moulding and damp. Please give more importance to these than to the paint.

5. Staging. When for sale homes are shown to prospective buyers, they are ‘staged’ by the realtor, that is, they are given a brush-over to make them look nice and clean.

And that’s nothing wrong. If you want to sell something you own, you always give it a scrub and clean before showing it to the prospective buyer.

Now, have you noticed how a motorcycle that appears so dazzling when you see your favourite movie star riding it in the advertisement can appear far less impressive after you’ve bought it?

Similarly, the home you’ve just bought may look far less valuable after the effects of the staging wear off and you start living in it.

So, remember to look past the staging at the ergonomics, free space available and comfort level before you make a purchase.

To summarize, while you need to look at every feature of a house before buying it, there are some features that many amateur home buyers give more importance to than they should.

Such features are often cheaply replaced or may be hiding serious defects. Sometimes, you may be missing some related but much more important features (like the condition of the electrical wiring rather than the lighting arrangements).

As any full service interior design firm (whether in Bangladesh or anywhere else) will tell you, a full architectural or building project and an interior design project are different from each other.

So, when buying a home, remember to not get swayed unduly by all these features; rather, look for the more important things I just told you about.