Home buying can be an exciting but stressful time. And while you may have a list of specific things you want or don’t want in your dream home, we’re going to identify what we consider some of our most important things to keep an eye out for as you look around.
The yard, gardens, driveway, and porch are all major factors in a property’s curb appeal. Check the yard for any areas that may look like they are prone to flooding. Does the grass look dead in certain areas or all over? Consider the condition and size of any garden bed. Are they riddled with weeds and do they look like a size that can be managed? For the driveway and any walkways, inspect for significant cracks or warping, which may indicate a need for significant repairs.
The Roof And Gutters
When it comes to the exterior of homes, there are several things to look for. The roof is one of the most expensive things to replace in a house. A new roof is a major plus on a potential property, but keep in mind it may also drive up the price. On the flip side, an old roof may need to be replaced and should be considered seriously when looking at a home. Worse yet, a leaking roof may be indicative of other potential problems, such as interior water damage and mold.
Relatedly, gutters are another important aspect of a home’s exterior. Some homes have none at all, while others may have a partial or full gutter system. If a home doesn’t have gutters, be sure to take a closer look around the base of the house for areas prone to flooding/water damage, as rain may end up collecting near the home’s foundation.
Siding and Foundation
Be sure to look at a house’s siding for damage, rot, holes, etc. Look near the foundation for signs of ants, termites or water damage. Some sellers will try to use paint to cover damages, so keep an eye out for any areas with a fresh coat on them.
For the foundation, look for any major cracks, as it could be a sign of damage. Home foundation repairs can be a risky and expensive challenge to take on as a homeowner. Additionally, see if installed decks and porches are at an appropriate height below the foundation. Coding states that 4-6 inches of a home’s foundation should be above any surface, whether it’s the ground or a fixture such as a deck.
Mechanical Systems And Insulation
Some of the most important systems in a home are the heating and A/C, and the water heater. Since these can be some of the pricier items to repair/replace, keep an eye out for labels with installation dates or ask the sellers how old the systems are. Air Conditioning/Heating units have an economic lifespan of 10-17 years on average. Water heaters have an average of 10-15 years of usage.
Relatedly, you can ask about insulation in the attic, as the majority of a home’s heat and cooling is passed through its attic. Those with additional insulation or radiant barriers in the attic area are a definite plus.
Check whether garage doors work and whether they are manual or automatic. Ask about whether windows are double-paned and/or if they are original to the home. In many cases, windows that come with a home tend to be of cheaper quality and do poorly at keeping heat/cooling in or out of the home.
The kitchen and bathroom are two of the costliest areas of a property and so should be looked at carefully. Are there any signs of mold? Do the tub, sink, and toilet in the bathrooms look old or outdated? In both the bathroom and kitchen, does the area under the sinks look like they’re leaking? Find out if the kitchen appliances convey with the home. And inspect any countertop and cabinet installations.
Flooring is a major aspect of a property’s value. Old carpets will contain bad smells and even mold. Linoleum may have areas that are cracked and worn. Wooden floors may be damaged from lack of maintenance and care. Tile floors can also have areas that are cracked or broken. Consider the costs of either upkeep or replacement of the flooring.
Finally, found a home that ticks all of your boxes? Reach out today to one of our experts for Quick quotes, low rates, and fast closings!