Buying a house is the biggest step into establishing a foothold into adulthood. It is associated with a lot of expectations, dreams, and hope. Therefore, you must evaluate thoroughly and make a wise decision before committing to this expensive and long-term responsibility.
Here we walk you through the key features you must not miss when looking into potential listings.
Your house size should be the first home requirements checklist. You need at least a general idea of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and an estimate of the square footage of the home you are looking for.
The size of the house is a matter of personal preference and needs. A large family or a couple looking to start a family should look into larger homes, whereas a small home is enough for a single person or those living with a partner.
Although a large home has plenty of rooms, small houses also have both aesthetic and economic benefits. Small homes are cozy and easier to clean. Furthermore, they can be furnished easily, and maintenance is less expensive.
The Ideal Yard
Your yard is a reflection of your personality. Some prefer large yards for a garden and artificial ponds or a swimming pool, while others prefer to skip a big lawn altogether due to difficulty maintaining them.
You will need to factor in the features you want in your backyard and whether it is equipped to take in additional features that you may want to add in later.
Finally, make sure to take into account maintenance costs and requirements for the lawn when finalizing your decision.
The House’s Exterior
Don’t forget to scrutinize the exterior after meeting your interior requirements. A sturdy exterior is just as important, and any red flags are most likely to be exposed during a home inspection. Nonetheless, some should best be checked out by yourself.
Firstly, the roof should be checked for any damages or leaks. A roof can be expensive to replace, so a thorough check should be ensured, especially in the case of old roofs. However, an old roof shouldn’t be a deterrent to buying the house since a well-maintained roof can last for decades.
This may be difficult to spot for the untrained eye but a bad foundation can cost you a lot of money. One way to identify it is to look for cracks in the walls, especially around doors and windows. If your doors and windows jam frequently, that could be another warning sign.
Lastly, look at the exterior walls to spot signs of decay, peeling paint, and rotting wood that require repairs.
Heating And Cooling Systems
Older homes tend to have a boiler or a baseboard heater to warm homes. You need to check whether these are in working order, or you risk cold winters and expensive renovation after purchasing the house.
Beating the summer heat is just as important as bearing the frigid winters. A central air-conditioning system is a better option for even cool air distribution, especially if your area experiences hot summers. You can also choose to have an AC that supplies air to the single room it is located.
No matter your choice of temperature regulation for your home, you should ensure that the house can accommodate any installations you want. For example, there should be space in the walls if you to change from a ductless to a duct system
Test Toilets, Sinks, Showers, and Baths
Sure you can change the flush after you have moved in but having everything in working order before you move in is the ideal setting.
You don’t want to deal with a leaky faucet or dripping shower once you have settled in. Furthermore, remember to test your water heater; otherwise, you risk showering with freezing water during the winter. One early sign of a developing problem can cause your water heater to make a hissing noise. So be sure to check every part of the bathroom thoroughly.
Check That All Appliances Work
During a house inspection, the new, shiny fridge might not be in working order and only placed to lure in potential buyers. Therefore before you finalize the deal, check that all the appliances in the house are in working order.
Bring a Phone Charger to Test the Outlets
When making your rounds around the house, check whether all the outlets are in working order. Simply bring your phone charger and plug in your device to test the outlets. Don’t miss the ones in the bathroom, bedroom and office space.
Take a Peek at the Electrical Panel
The electrical panel is the powerhouse of your home. Although your home inspector should cover this during the inspection, it doesn’t hurt to be extra safe. A general rule of thumb is that organized wires with clearly marked connections in a neat panel indicate a safe, functional panel. On the other hand, a mess of disconnected wires poses a potential electrical hazard threat.
Open and Close All Windows and Doors
As mentioned before, it is an indicator that the foundation is strong. You should also check if they get jammed before winter rolls around and end up with half-closed windows allowing cold drafts to freeze you over.
Scout Out Areas of Potential Leakage
Certain areas of a home are more prone to leaks than others. So make sure you identify any sites well before moving in to avoid incurring additional repair costs. This includes the drainage gutters of roof eaves and outdoor patios. Ensure that the drains are clear and functioning properly and that these drain water into the ground well away from the foundation.
Pay Close Attention to Basement Walls
Basements are sites of moisture accumulation, especially if you live in areas prone to rain and storms. This can lead to mold and mildew, which can seriously affect your health in the long term. Watch out for musty-smelling basements, rusty metal, and a presence of a dehumidifier, all of which are tell-tale signs of a moisture problem.
The attic requires a once over after you are done inspecting the house. Look out for animal droppings that could indicate a rodent infestation as well as signs of any leaks or damage.
Finally, inspect the insulation and ventilation of the attic-two important aspects that shouldn’t be ignored. Inform your home inspector if the attic appears wet or water stained.
Inspecting homes is an essential task to be completed before you finalize the deal. Too many homeowners are left dissatisfied and cheated because they find massive flaws in the house after moving in. This is all due to improper inspection. If you are moving into a used home, then an inspection is a necessity that must not be skipped.
Your home is a safe haven and a significant investment so you must place the utmost care into ensuring that it is perfect in every way possible.