Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make. If you know how to approach the process without letting your emotions take control, you can be more confident in your decision-making. For example, you may love a home’s curb appeal, but you may not love the fact that you need to replace the HVAC system.
What To Look For In A New Home
Should you cross that home off your list, or negotiate a price that factors in the cost of the new HVAC? Keep your emotions in check and look for the following conditions that could mean costly repairs.
Location, Location, Location
The location and the lot are things you cannot change. The first consideration as to location is whether the neighborhood meets your needs. Before you get out of the car to look at a property, look over the lot itself. Make sure it is not in a low-lying area that floods. If it is, you will incur significant expense to remediate the effects of a flood if remediation is possible. Is the lot fairly level, or is it steep? If the lot is steep, consider whether it creates a concern for your family’s intended use? Is it on a busy road? Consider whether the amount of traffic will affect your enjoyment and use of the property. Finally, look at the adjacent properties and determine if they are well taken care of.
Examine the Exterior Before You Go Inside
One of the biggest considerations should be the roof. If it looks to you like it needs repair, it probably does. If it looks new, that is good news for you as a potential buyer. A new roof means you won’t have to replace it for many years. It may mean lower homeowner’s insurance premiums. If you are unsure about the roof, do not be afraid to ask the seller about it. Ask about the age of the roof and if any repairs or leaks have been necessary. Look for evidence of water streaks in the attic. If the roof has had problems with leaking, you can probably see evidence of it.
Inspect the condition of the exterior paint. Has it been freshly painted? If so, that is some indication that the seller is serious about selling and has taken care of the property. If the paint is peeling or faded, it may mean the opposite. But if it needs a paint job, make sure the siding is in good condition, and be prepared to undertake the expense of a paint job if you buy the home. Perhaps you’ll want to factor it in when negotiating a sales price.
Floorplan, Kitchen & Baths
As you walk through the house, determine whether the floorplan will meet your lifestyle. Is it an open floor plan design that you love, or is it a floor plan designed to allow occupants more privacy? If you don’t like the floor plan now, you will probably hate it in a few years. If the seller has recently painted the walls and ceilings, be aware that it was likely done to help sell the home. That is good news for you as a potential buyer, but don’t let new paint and décor distract you from what matters.
Determine if the kitchen and baths are updated, or whether they will need updating. If they are dated, you may be facing the expense of replacing old appliances. This could be a deal-breaker, but it does not need to be unless the expense of extensive updating the kitchen and baths exceeds your budget and your patience.
Regardless of the age of the appliances, turn each of them on to make sure they are working. Look underneath every sink for signs of leaking. Turn on the water in every faucet to assess the water pressure, especially if the house sits on well water. Look at any carpeting to determine whether it needs to be replaced or updated. If so, it is common to factor that into your sales price negotiations.
Professional Home Inspection
One of the best ways to identify potential problems is to have a professional home inspection done. The home inspector will examine the condition of all of the items mentioned above and other important features that you may not be able to access or evaluate, such as wiring, HVAC, plumbing, insulation, and more. In times of frenzied markets, buyers may be tempted to forego it. If you do opt against a home inspection, you do so at your own risk.
Contact Katie Zarpas Group to Learn More
Before you make an offer, reach out to Katie Zarpas Group for more information. Katie Zarpas is well-versed in home buying, and she can help you find exactly what you’re looking for and learn what questions to ask when buying a home. Contact her today to find out more about their comprehensive real estate services.