Making any large purchase can be stressful, especially since we are so susceptible to decision paralysis. An informed decision is a great decision, meaning you should have tons of information when making your purchase. For example, when buying a car, you should give less focus on the shiny rims and more focus towards the sounds the car makes while driving. Buying a home is not so different from buying a car, there are a lot of things to consider when purchasing both.
Today we are going to cover some red flags and things to look for when buying a home! (Yes, we understand there are a plethora of things to look for when buying a home, these are just the essentials).
First thing’s first
The number one thing you should do before buying a home is to address your personal needs (a beautiful toilet/countertop would not count here; you can always do that yourself). If you have limited mobility, maybe a ranch-style home with wide entrances/doorways is a good idea. If you plan on having kids (or more kids), maybe look for a home with extra bedrooms and a large, safe yard.
It’s 2020, there are VERY few things that are not digital. Once you have compiled all your needs, hop on the internet. There are tons of websites that offer free information and the history of available homes. The best part is they include tons of photos of the property; you can see if the home meets your needs without leaving the comfort of your bed!
Before you set foot inside of a home, give the roof a glance. A roof acts as one barrier between your home and the elements, so look for a roof that looks relatively or completely new. A faulty or old roof will either cause damage to the rest of the home or cause damage to your bank account when the time comes to replace the roof.
One huge element is the foundation or the bones of the home. It is important to understand that after a while homes tend to “settle”. When this takes place, you might see a few hairline cracks, which shouldn’t be a big deal; however, if you see large gaps in the foundation, this should raise a red flag.
Speaking of the foundation, there are other ways you can detect a poor foundation in a home. Go and open the doors and windows inside a home. If they stick or have a hard time opening, the MAIN reason is because the foundation has been compromised. (If one window/door sticks but the rest of the windows and doors do not, this might be due to poor installation).
So, you looked around the home and the foundation and roof are in great shape, what’s next? Shift your attention to the systems of your home. Check the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and sewer systems. NO ONE wants a home that has water damage, or what follows, mold cleanup. These are absolute deal-breakers when it comes to purchasing a home.
Instead of just admiring the beautiful kitchen sink, take a peek underneath at the plumbing. When in the bathroom, not only inspect the vanity and its plumbing but check the toilet including the surrounding area for water damage/mold. Use your nose as well as your other senses to detect water or any other types of damage. A rotten egg smell could indicate a natural gas leak while an unpleasant smell could mean the sewer systems aren’t working properly.
Other things to consider
Do not feel shy or awkward walking around the home and touching EVERYTHING. After all, you do not want to buy a home and find out the upstairs window is painted shut or the basement faucet does not work. Be hands-on!
Like we’ve mentioned, while the main purpose of a home is to shield us from the elements, it’s crucial that the home is efficient at doing this (unless you don’t mind throwing away money). For more information regarding efficient homes, check out our previous blog!
For most people, their home will be the largest thing they ever purchase. Make sure this is an informed decision by gathering as much information as possible!
These tips and red flags include only the absolute necessary considerations, there are A LOT more things that you should look for. Check out this wonderful page by realtor.com that talks about red flags in the home buying process!!
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