Whether you’re someone who’s out looking for that perfect spot to build your family home or a person who’s just tired of living in an apartment, house hunting is definitely going to be an exciting yet challenging experience for you. When checking out houses, it’s so easy to become seduced by gleaming wooden floors, high ceilings, lovely archways, airy kitchens, or spacious yards. But don’t be so enraptured to the point that you forget all the practical stuff.
Although it is definitely a must to get a house that feels right, you should also make sure that the house is a fine investment. It would be heartbreaking and financially devastating to find out later on that the place you bought needed too many repairs that were very costly to fix. Such expenditures can be detrimental to your financial standing. So, here are a few things that you should consider before you make that huge commitment to buy a new home.
1. Evaluate the primary structures
If bones hold you up, then a house’s primary structures, including its foundation, are its bones, so to speak. Everything else is just adornment. This means that you need to check the roof, floor area, as well as the number, size and location of windows and doors. Make sure to inspect the foundation, and also see if the basement is in good condition. There should be no pooled water, molds, or any indication of leaks or water problems that could’ve weakened the structural foundation.
2. Try out the water and power supply
Water and electricity are vital utilities that you need and use every day. So, make sure that these are working well. It’s important to check electrical outlets and wirings, and see if the circuit breakers or safety fuses are working properly. If possible, have a qualified electrician check the entire network for you. A professional will be able to tell you if there are electrical problems that could potentially cause fires, and you could also inquire if there are needed repairs to be done. As for the water supply, you should see if there is enough supply of hot and cold water. Check the water pressure too, especially if the house has second and third floors. To test, turn on the water taps on the first floor, and then have someone turn on the shower or faucets on the upper floors. If the water flow is alright, then there’s enough water pressure to support all systems even when many pipes are being used.
3. Check all nooks and crannies
Another crucial step is to peek at all the nooks and crannies. The old owners or the agent with you might look at you in a weird way if you decide to check under sofas or carpets, but this is actually an essential part of house hunting. By examining the areas that are not that obvious, you get to see what other problems there may be. For instance, are there molds beneath the carpet? Is the wall beneath that nice dresser cracked or damaged? Are there tiny gnaw marks or holes on the wall which could indicate a rodent problem?
4. Take a look at the garage
There are times when people get so seduced by the main house that they forget the garage. You should really check out the garage and see if it can accommodate all the vehicles that you have.
- Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan at www.freedigitalphotos.net.
Claire Campbell regularly contributes articles to real estate sites. She also writes for Hayden Homes, which is a known and recognized home builder in the northwest.