If you are looking for your first house, or maybe just looking to upgrade into a new home, viewing all the options can be equally exciting and overwhelming. If you’ve never looked for a house before, or maybe its just been a while, brush up on what to look for (the good and the bad) when you’re looking to buy a home!
First on your checklist, take a look at how the previous property owners maintained the home and property. If the landscaping is well-maintained, there’s fresh paint, un-stained carpet, and no chips or cracks in the floor or along base boards, chances are the things you can’t see have also been taken care of. If the grass hasn’t been mowed in weeks or there’s suspicious stains on the floor or walls, chances are however owned the home before you wasn’t overly concerned with maintaining the home for the long-term.
2. Touch ALL the Things
We mean it, touch everything (within reason)! Turn the light switches on and off, flush the toilets, check the garbage disposal, door handles, windows, faucets, everything. Buying a house is a big investment, and it’s better to get your hands on everything so you know what may potentially need to be replaced or fixed upon move-in than to have a nasty surprise after you’ve signed on the dotted line.
Lots of homes have little hairline cracks which mean the house is just getting cozy and settling into place, but if there are big cracks or gaps, or visible cracks above window frames or uneven floors, it may mean there’s a bigger problem with the foundation of the house.
Take a good hard look at the roof, from the inside and the outside! If there’s water damage, or the roofing looks old or in need of an update, consider making a request that it be replaced before move-in or ask for a discount on the over-all price. If the roof has been recently replaced or made of a material that can stand the test of time, you’re in the clear!
5. Home inspection
Always have a home inspection done! While you can look at everything and touch everything, unless you’re an expert on electrical wiring and plumbing, it’s best to get a qualified professional into the house to make sure you don’t invest in something that has major underlying issues. No one wants to find out that the electrical in the entire house needs replaced after they’ve purchased a home.
6. Surrounding Area
Look at the surrounding area and neighborhood of your potential house. If you have kids, check out the assigned school districts, commute times to work, and the distance from grocery stores and shopping. Also consider the natural aspects of the area! Does the house back up to a babbling creek? Does the creek ever flood? If it’s not far from a major Interstate or highway, can you hear the traffic from the master bedroom? Take into consideration how the surrounding area could affect you if you choose a certain property over another.
If you can, say hi to your potential new neighbors! Who you end up living next to could impact your decision to move into a house. Do they have 4 large, loud dogs that spend most of their time in the backyard and you can’t stand noise? Maybe it’s not the place for you.
8. Storage space
Storage space is an important, and sometimes overlooked, factor of buying a house. Check out the attic, basement, garage, closets, or anywhere you may store seasonal items or family heirlooms, to make sure there’s plenty of space for what you have, with a little extra room to grow!
What other things to look for when buying a house do you recommend?
Thank you for reading our real estate and homeowner’s blog. We are Weichert Realtors – Barton Harris & Co. and we’re happy to have helped you learn more about things to look for when buying a house!