So it’s time to purchase a new home this can be a very exciting time but also a very stressful time. It’s no wonder why according to a Daily Mail poll Buying a house is more stressful than bankruptcy and divorce. There are many factors to consider when buying a home. So make sure you are prepared before you go out shopping for your new home. In this post, I’m going to break down a step by step process to make sure you’re getting the best home possible.
The first step when you arrive at the home is to take a good look at the roof. Look for anything that may be out of order that could be a potential problem. Any missing shingles, any signs that the roof may be sagging or caving in (these are all red flags). Not that you should cross the home off your list but these things must be accounted for. While you are still outside checking for any cracking in the brick because this is generally a sign of foundation issues.
Once you are inside the house try to look beyond any staging or fresh paint for anything that could be a potential issue. Again look for cracking in the drywall, doors that don’t close correctly or any other obvious tells of foundation or structural damage. These can often be some of the most expensive repairs so make sure you aren’t wasting your time with a house that won’t be a good fit.
The next thing to check is the HVAC system. If it looks old or isn’t in good working order you should ask when the last time it has been replaced. This is a very important step because if it ends up needing to be replaced it can cost thousands.
Next, decide what your home needs to have. Whether that be a big backyard, a pool, a large kitchen, etc. Whatever it is that you need, make sure you get it buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. So make sure the home you buy fits your lifestyle.
You will also want the check appliances, faucets, and light fixtures. Remember if they look run down they probably are and you will want to take this into account if you decide to place an offer on the property. Don’t be afraid to spend a good bit of time in a home. If you are seriously interested in the property nobody will mind you spending some extra time checking things out. If the homeowner does have a problem with you checking things out view this as a bad sign. There is probably something they are trying to hide.
Another bad sign is if you smell sewage, gas or anything else unpleasant it’s not a good sign. Many times in older houses sewage systems can be damaged by tree roots, clogged pipes, etc.
Once you have gone through these steps and everything checks out it’s time to order an inspection. This is very important because most lenders will not loan you money without one. Also, there is no substitute for experience in this industry. So an inspector will check everything very thoroughly. Plus this will also give you peace of mind so you know you aren’t buying a problem.
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents suggests that almost every house has a defect. Some will be obvious to you, and the vast majority will be fixable, but it’s best to know before you buy. So hopefully you can now shop with confidence and maybe even relieve some of the stress of buying your next home.