Today I want to touch on what to look for when buying a house.
When you’re out on the open house circuit or looking at properties online, there are a slew of things to think about as you search for the perfect home.
You should begin by establishing a list of the things you require and desire in a home.
Each person’s list will be unique.
Young families may be seeking for a beginning house that they can expand into, while empty nesters may prefer smaller, easier-to-maintain properties.
The truth is that you are unlikely to accomplish everything on your to-do list.
To discover a home that suits your wants and fits within your budget, you’ll have to make some compromises.
While most home buyers spend their time at an open house inspecting the room layout and the brand names on the kitchen appliances, savvy purchasers know what to look for when purchasing a property.
You’ll typically walk into an open house in a competitive market that has been thoroughly cleaned, renovated, and staged with stylish furniture.
That’s great, but if you’re not attentive, you could overlook a slew of issues.
You shouldn’t be too taken aback by how lovely a place appears and smells.
As a result, you ought to know what to look for when buying a house before you get involved.
Read: Using 401k to Buy a House
What to Look for When Buying a House
1. Is the structure of the building sound?
You will be searching for large cracks, but you can also expect some hairline cracks.
Look in particular at the intersections of additions, end-of-terrace walls, and bay windows, which can all begin to fall or bend away from the rest of the home.
You will be searching for problems now that you can bring up with the homeowner or estate agent and then have your surveyor check at later.
However, you can only search for what you’re familiar with; a chartered surveyor with years of expertise is educated to recognize dangers and know what has to be addressed.
2. Be cautious of air fresheners
People who stink use deodorant or perfume.
As a result, stench-filled homes are frequently sprayed or adorned with scented candles or potpourri.
It’s your job to figure out if there’s an ominous odor coming from anywhere in the house.
It could be a leaking pipe, sewage, mold, dog and cat pee, or something else entirely.
3. Ensure renovation requirements are reasonable
Ugly carpets and bright paint colors draw a lot of attention, but they’re both simple and affordable to replace.
And a house that appears to be ideal except for the fact that it requires a complete kitchen remodel may not be as perfect as it appears.
A kitchen redesign costs more than $21,000 on average, and it may easily go much higher.
Make sure the price, as well as any obvious renovations on your checklist, will match your budget before making an offer on a fixer-upper.
4. Check for poor tiling
It is recommended to look at the tiles in kitchens and bathrooms.
In case the tiles or gaps are uneven, it could be an indication of a DIY project.
This is something that ought to you think twice, more so if the house has been flipped.
Lazy tiling could suggest that a fixer-upper property has undergone many repairs, possibly by someone who isn’t in the renovation field and has no idea what they’re doing.
It’s possible that you’ll have to spend a lot of money to redo it.
Are you still asking the question what to look for when buying a house?
5. Ensure there is no prior insurance claims
By getting a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or C.L.U.E. report from the seller, an FA real estate agent may assist you with locating insurance claims recorded on the property in the previous five years.
If you hear that your new kitchen flooring was installed after frequent water damage, you might reconsider it.
Too many previous insurance claims may have an impact on your possible homeowner’s insurance rate, so double-checking will help you save money in the future.
6. Check the direction that the house faces
It’s difficult to see the difference between a north and south facing house or garden in the winter, on a cloudy day or at night, but in the summer, it can mean the difference between a home that’s full of light and warmth and one that’s frustratingly dark.
Your favorite plants may also notice and respond by dying.
Don’t be afraid to bring a compass to the viewing; you might already have one on your phone.
With bi-fold doors being so popular, keep in mind that in bright sunlight, the solar gain can make the space extremely hot, so try to visit and spend some time in that room while the sun is shining.
7. House’s Location
There’s a reason why Realtors joke that “location, location, location” is the most crucial factor in real estate.
No amount of modification will be able to modify your home’s position.
Even if the house has everything else you want, a long commute or underperforming schools for your children can lead to buyer’s remorse.
The area and neighbors are also part of the site, so pay attention to how the block and community are.
I recommend doing a drive-by at different times of the day to get a sense of how the neighborhood appears.
Is there something going on in that area that makes you want to stay at home every day.
8. Ensure there are strong foundations, roofs, and systems
Some of the things we consider the least in a home are the most important.
A strong foundation and a fresh, durable roof are excellent indicators.
A minor break in the foundation wall or a few old shingles can quickly escalate into costly issues.
The roof on a new home should last 20-30 years, but replacing an old one can cost $6,000-$11,000 (or even more).
Ignoring roofing problems can lead to structural damage to your home, including the foundation.
What about foundation issues?
Correcting the foundation can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Make sure the following systems are in good working order, in addition to the roofs and foundations:
- Sewer or septic system (and well, if there is one)
9. How is the neighborhood?
- Do you live near a rowdy tavern, bar, or kebab shop?
- Is it simple to access public transportation?
- Are there any nearby noisy highways or train tracks?
- Are you in the route of a plane?
- Do you have to drive to the store to acquire a pint of milk, or can you walk?
- Do you live near a school and find it difficult to get out of your car during school run time?
- Is there a dump within walking distance?
When you are asking yourself what to look for when buying a house, these are things that ought to be considered.
10. Ensure the plumbing is in order
Check the water pressure by turning on the faucets.
Check to see if the pipes are insulated and if they aren’t made of lead, which would require replacement.
Is it true that the radiators are functional? What is the age of the boiler?
If the hot water tank is in the roof, it is most likely old and will need to be replaced soon.
11. Be cautious when music is being played in each room
The agent/seller is attempting to conceal the outside noise.
Most of them tend to do this when potential buyers are within the premises.
You might find the central fan is turned to create white noise and there is also some music playing.
Demand that all music and air conditioning be turned off so you can assess the noise level for yourself.
12. Ensure there are no health risks/hazards
Older homes have a lot of character, but they also have a lot of mildew, asbestos, and lead paint.
These are the most important things to check for when buying a home.
Mold and asbestos-prone materials may not be identified during a house inspection, so you must have them properly tested.
You can buy a cheap lead paint test kit from a hardware shop and conduct it yourself in a matter of minutes.
These don’t have to be deal breakers, but being aware of them helps you to negotiate with the seller to include a remedy in your offer.
If you live in a region where radon is a problem, hire a professional to test the levels in your house.
When it comes on what to look for when buying a house, the list is quite extensive. I have just included the things that I think are pertinent.
Read: Real Estate Investing for Beginners
Conclusion on What to Look for When Buying a House
It can be tough to locate a property that fulfills all of your criteria.
If your budget and aspirations are acceptable, you should be able to discover something that meets your most crucial requirements.
While you’re ready to become a homeowner, it’s critical to identify the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a property.
There are various aspects to consider, including your preparation, local market conditions, and ensuring you understand the key components of the home-buying process.
You may ensure that you have awareness and mindfulness as you enter the domain of homeownership by carefully considering some of these concerns.
I am sure now you are aware of what to look for when buying a house. You can add to the list based on the things that you consider important to check out.