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Home Buying Checklist: What to Look For when Buying a Home

Buying a home is a big deal, no matter if it’s your first time, or tenth time. A home is a huge investment, and like any other huge investments, must be done carefully with plenty of time, research, and careful consideration of the facts. But what are the factors you should consider when buying a home?

Beyond deciding on a budget, location, and so on, there are many other factors to consider when choosing a house to buy. If you’re curious about these different factors, keep on reading. In this article, we’ll go over the most important and often overlooked issues people encounter when buying a home.

What to Watch for When Buying a House

So you’ve found a nice house in a good location within your budget. It seems like you’re all done right? Well, take a closer look at the house you’re about to buy. There may be a few things you didn’t notice at first. There may be minor or major problems with the home that the realtor didn’t want you to know about.

The first among them are electrical and utility problems. These issues are a pain to deal with both financially and with regard to quality of life. There’s no worse move-in experience than getting all your things settled just to realize that the lights don’t turn on, the faucets are faulty, or the central heating system doesn’t work.

Faulty wiring in the house is a huge issue with the house and one that can go unnoticed especially if the house has not been lived in for at least one year. The realtor may be unaware that somewhere in the house, the electrical wiring has become frayed, damaged, tangled, or broken.

Circuit breakers are also something to keep an eye on. When circuit breakers get old, they will trip, causing overloads and electrical outages. Neglected and old circuit breakers will do this often, and will cause many headaches or cost great amounts to repair.

Poor drainage is another huge issue. When the drainage around the house is faulty, water will accumulate around the foundation of the house. This can lead to the shifting of the house’s foundation over time, leaking in the basement, and muddy, spongy soil surrounding the house.

This becomes a major issue over time. If the foundation of the house shifts too much over time, it can shift dramatically. The house could become structurally unstable and collapse, but such structural damage would be very noticeable. More realistically, mold can develop inside of the walls or in the basement, making it the air stuffy and full of potentially dangerous pathogens.

Roof problems are common for homes in the absence of regular maintenance. Missing, damaged, or worn shingles and flashings can cause a host of problems. Minor roof damage can be remedied if acted upon quickly, however, when buying a home, you really don’t know how long it’s been since roof maintenance has been performed.

If it has been months, or even years since a house’s roof damage has been fixed, there might be serious issues like mold, leaks, or the possibility of the roof caving in. At that point, total roof replacement would be needed, and that’s not something you want to deal with when buying a new home.

Another thing to consider is the plumbing situation of the house. If the pipes are damaged or faulty you could be faced with a very costly problem to deal with. The same is true about leaky pipes and dripping faucets. Not only would it be expensive to fix these problems, it could drive up your water bill.

Lastly, the ventilation system should be a high priority on your checklist. A functioning HVAC system is incredibly important for having a comfortable and healthy home environment. A faulty HVAC system could lead to a lack of air conditioning in the summer, or a lack of central heating in the Winter.

Additionally, poor air filters in the HVAC system can cause health issues. The filters should trap all dust or other pollutants that would circulate in the air you breathe, potentially making you sick over time. There’s a good chance that the HVAC filter in your new home is begging to be replaced.

In summary, there is a lot that can go wrong when buying a new home. Depending on how long the home has been vacant, there can be minor or massive damage to some of the home’s essential structural and utility components. The worst part is that some of these issues won’t be noticeable when looking at the home.

How to Buy a House

To buy a home, first establish a range of criteria. Budget, location, size, etc. Once you’ve established that, start the search. There are a multitude of online services that show you all of the houses for sale in the area you want to live. Try to book an appointment with a realtor and see the house in-person.

Do your research on every house you’re interested in, and also look into the real estate agency that’s selling it. Make sure that everything is legitimate, and also inspect the home for any of the problems listed above.

Do I need a Realtor?

You don’t need a realtor when buying a home, but it’s highly recommended that you have one. A real estate agent on your side can help you negotiate the price of the house, and their expertise will certainly help when inspecting the property for issues. Additionally, establishing a relationship with your realtor can ease the process of buying and eventually selling the home.

What’s the Most Common Problem with Buying a House?

Usually, the most common problem home buyers face is that after making the purchase, they are faced with issues in the home that they never anticipated. Structural problems, utility issues, etc. can cause a lot of financial and quality of life problems for the homeowner.

In conclusion, it’s important to do your homework when looking for a house to buy. With knowledge and a trustworthy realtor by your side, you should be able to find the perfect home for your needs.