One of the most exciting and important purchases in life is buying a new house. After searching for the perfect property and finally finding "the one," it is easy to call the movers and picture family gatherings, dinners with friends and quiet evenings by a fire immediately. Getting carried away is part of the process but keeping things in the back of your mind can help you avoid a catastrophic purchase. Here are some tips before signing on the dotted line, there are important things to check in your prospective new home.
Does this House Make Sense For You?
Take time to determine if the house is right for you after the initial thrill of finding what you think is the ideal house. Learn who the builder is and their reputation for quality homes being built. Imagine living in the house and feeling in the room. Consider whether the layout works for you and your family, whether open or closed. Is there plenty of rooms, living rooms, and storage? Does the kitchen fit your taste and style and do you have rooms that fit specific needs such as an office, study area or workout room? Make sure that the house will also be flexible enough in future years to meet your needs.
Does it Have All of Your Must Haves?
If the home is a financially comfortable fit, take time to assess the home's features and make sure it has all you need. Do you care about things like hardwood floors, outdoor living spaces, and en-suite bedrooms? Would you consider a downstairs master bedroom and a fenced backyard a necessity?
Figure Out the Condition/Age of Appliances
Find the age of all kitchen appliances and systems including air and heating, water heaters, water filtration systems, and central vacuums. If any devices or systems have been replaced, find out who were the contractors and warranty information. Ensure transferring warranties with new ownership. If appliances are worn and do not seem to be in working order, take note of them and negotiate to replace them or to receive a price reduction as compensation for a replacement.
Inspect the Electrical Wiring
Pay special attention to cabling, especially if you buy an older home. Look at the breaker box and make sure everything looks intact, turn on all light switches and make sure they work properly, and lights don't flicker and check for burned outlets sockets.
Check out The Plumbing
It may seem annoying, but every toilet must be flushed, and every faucet must be turned on to ensure that everyone is in good working order. Look for evidence of leaks, current or old, at the seals around toilets and under sinks. Make sure toilets are secured to the floor and tightness of all sink hardware.
Look at The Basement, Attic & Crawl Space
Does the house access to these areas easily? Take time to enter these spaces and ensure that there are no signs of water damage or standing water, any presence of insects or rodents, or structural damage. Does it feel humid or needy? Make sure that fans from the attic and sump pumps are working properly. Also, pay attention to isolation and ensure that it does not shrink, and adequate ventilation occurs. Check the space vents of the crawl and make sure they are opened and closed easily.
Find out the history of the roof and gutters as well as any guarantees when they were last replaced. Learn when the house was last painted so the future expense can be factory. Check for outward signs of home damage, and check the driveway, sidewalks, windows, and doors closely. For all contractors who have worked at home for future reference, it is a good idea to have information.
It is important to ask whether, due to storms, falling trees or some other means, the house has ever sustained significant damage. Even if the damage is undetectable due to repairs, it is important that this information is available. Get details on the situation and how repairs were made, including the name used by the contractors.
Get the Down Low on the Neighborhood
Even if you love the house, make sure the work, school, shopping, and activities are conveniently located. Notice if a friendly, welcoming feel is in the neighborhood. What are homes on your street comparative prices and where would your house fit in the mix?
Make Sure to Get an Inspector
It is always prudent to have a professional inspect the house after carefully checking all areas of the house and collecting relevant information. Buying a house is a special event in life. Taking time to thoroughly check the house will help you make a wise purchase and enable you to enjoy your new home with a little bit of mind.