Buying a home is a lifetime investment and you need to be very careful to avoid losing money, buying the wrong home, or buying in the wrong neighborhood. Buying a home is a process that involves a series of steps in order to make the wrong decisions. Sometimes when buying a home, you need the help of professionals; for example, for an inspection to make sure the house is in proper condition. If you are considering buying a home, here are 10 things to evaluate:
The roof of a home plays a key role in ensuring that your valuable items and your family members are safe from different weather conditions. It is important to understand that roofs have a useful life, depending on the materials used and the type of roof. Therefore, before buying a home, make sure the roof is in proper condition and has not exceeded its useful life to avoid roof leaks. You can have a roofing contractor perform an inspection to avoid incurring additional roof repairs or replacements after you buy the home.
2. The plumbing system
The home’s plumbing system must work properly to avoid additional costs. Make sure you like the way the toilet flushes, check the drains, water pressure, and taps in bathrooms and kitchen. Also, you need to know how long it takes for hot water to reach the shower, whether there is a water softener, and how old the water heater is. Most water heaters have a useful life of 10-15 years, depending on the model, how they were maintained and how often they were used, as well as other factors. Therefore, checking the age of the water heater will help you know when to replace it; thus helping you determine if the home is worth buying.
3. The size and floor plan.
When buying a home, you are obviously thinking about settling down with your family and your future as well. The size of the house and the floor plan are some of the factors you should consider to make the right decision. Depending on the type of family you want to have, the size of the house will be a determining factor, because a large house can offer enough space for your family and friends when they visit, as well as a home office. However, you will have to pay more for a larger house, both on the mortgage and on the utility bills.
Your neighborhood plays a key role when buying a home because it affects not only the value of the home but also the availability of resources and security. You should collect as much information about the neighborhood as possible to make sure it is safe and has all the facilities (social services) you need. Consider the proximity of your home to your workplace and ease of access because you will need it every day. However, you should know that the location can determine the value of your home.
5. Electric systems
Like the plumbing system, your electrical system must work properly to avoid potential injuries and accidents. A good electrical system also has little to no maintenance and repair costs after the home is purchased. Therefore, when evaluating the electrical system, make sure you know how much the electrical system can support, if the electrical outlets are up to date to take grounded outlets, or the type of electrical system that is used to wire your home. If you can’t do the assessment yourself, hiring an electrician is a better option.
6. Kitchen appliances
You will need to use your kitchen every day after buying the house. Therefore, check the condition of the microwave, refrigerator, kitchen stove, dishwasher, and other kitchen appliances. If the house has a gas stove, you should know if it has a pilot or starter and, above all, know if these kitchen appliances will be sold with the house. You can decide if you want them or you will buy your own kitchen appliances based on your preferences and budgets.
7. Indoor environmental risks
It is important to be aware of the environmental hazards inside a home to avoid exposing yourself and your family to the health hazards of toxic substances. For example, in an older home, you should look for any asbestos coating on the furnace, pipes, heating systems, and water heaters. Make sure the basement is tested for the presence of poisonous gases, for example radon, which is carcinogenic and can cause lung cancer. You should also be on the lookout for carbon monoxide and vermin to make sure your home is safe. Finally, an inspector must determine if the home has lead-based paints because they are poisonous. In fact, homes offered for sale must not have lead-based paint according to federal law.
8. Structural problems
Although you can’t buy an old house in perfect condition, it should have little to no structural problems. If you buy a home that knowingly or unknowingly has numerous structural problems, you will end up spending a lot of money trying to fix them. Know the condition of the interior walls, roof, gutters and downspouts, flashing, doors and windows. Remember to also inspect the floor as well as the fence and other structures in your home.
9. The bedrooms and bathrooms
First of all, you need to decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms your house should have, and then start looking for such a house. This will be determined by your preferences, family size, and budget. Then he will evaluate the conditions of the bathroom and bedrooms, their size and cabinets, as well as the floor. Your bathroom should be tiled for easy cleaning, as well as a shower head or a bathtub or even both. If you are considering adding additional space in the future, ask an architect for advice if possible after considering lot use, space planning, and city regulations.
10. Look outside the house
Finally, evaluate the exterior of your home because it also plays a role in buying your home. Do you have enough landscaping and a fence, where are the lot (or property) lines and the condition of the garage? Do not forget to check the condition of the fences, the patio and the terrace.