House hunting can be an exciting time for you and your family. But trying to find that perfect home can also feel overwhelming, especially when there are so many factors to consider. Besides square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, what other things should a potential homeowner keep an eye out for? We’ve created a list of some of the primary aspects buyers should check out when they’re house hunting.
You Might Want To Judge The Book By Its Cover
In the case of houses, the exterior is just as important as what’s inside. What’s the condition of the roof? Is there a gutter system in place? Cracks in the foundation? Is the wood on the front porch have rotten wood? Does the siding look old or in need of repair? Additionally, a common practice for sellers is to spruce up the front while leaving the back untouched. So, be sure to take a closer look at the home’s exterior when you go into the backyard. Finally, inspect any doors and windows and take note of any cracks or missing parts in the frame, screen or seal. If the home has double-paned windows, check for moisture in the glass, as this may be a sign of a leak.
Watch Your Step
One make or break element of a home is the flooring. Is it outdated or in need of repair? Does the house have carpet and, if so, is it stained or have a bad odor? Also, see how many different types of flooring the house has. Your main areas may have wood, while the kitchen and bathrooms have linoleum. Your bedrooms may even have carpet. Each has a different lifespan and maintenance requirements, which could potentially mean added costs shortly after you purchase. Also, carpet readily holds in odor, so if the house has a smell, you may have to clean or replace it. Finally, if you have pets, think about the best types of flooring that will stand up to that type of wear and tear. Tile can hold up well and is easy to clean, but can be costly to install. Wood may look nice but can stain easily if messes are not cleaned up right away.
Pro House Hunting Tip: Check the Heat and A/C
In the first viewing of the home, be sure to check the vents and how well the thermostat works. Ask about the age of the HVAC system (whose lifespan is around 12-18 years), as repairs and replacements can be expensive. Are there any smells in the home? You may need to clean out the ducts as well to help eliminate the odors (another added cost). Finally, if you ready to move forward with a home, have an HVAC specialist inspect the system. This is because most home inspectors will only take a cursory glance at the system. So, it can be well worth the cost ($50-$75) to have an HVAC specialist come check for rust, mold, leaks, etc.
Before You Take The Final Plunge…
Like HVAC, plumbing repairs can be costly, especially if there is wood rot or mold. However, there are a few things you can do to see if there are hidden issues with the home’s waterworks. First, check for signs of water damage in and outside the home. These include brown cracks that look like water lines and stains. Sniff around faucets and tubs and check under the sinks of the kitchen and bathrooms for mold, leaks, and/or water stains. Do you smell sewage? The home may have an issue with the sewage systems. If you suspect this is the case, it can behoove you to have a plumber come out to make a closer inspection of the home.
Home Inspectors: An Absolute Yes!
And speaking of inspections, one of the best things you can do when you’re ready to move forward with property is to have a home inspector give a full evaluation. Some mortgages, such as VA loans, require this as a part of the loan process. However, if you are applying for a conventional loan, this is a step you as a buyer should invest in. The results of an inspection report can not only help you avoid the headache and major inconvenience of future costs but also give you the ability to negotiate the cost of the home in your favor. This is a major house hunting must!
So, whenever you’re ready to start your home buying journey, let our mortgage experts help you get off on the right foot with the best rates, quickest quotes, and fastest closing times on the market. Visit us online to apply!