Buying a home is likely the single biggest investment in your life. Therefore, making sure it’s a smart investment should go without saying. But as everyone who’s ever bought a home knows, the mixture of excitement and eagerness can make even a decent property look like a dream mansion. Naturally, the previous owners will do their part and redecorate, repaint and try to conceal all the flaws the home might have.
The important thing to pay attention to when buying a new home is to avoid properties needing a major repair. Naturally, there will always be some cosmetic changes you’ll want to make before moving in. But we’re not talking about that here. If it turns out you need to fix the roof, repair a slab leak or get rid of a mold infestation, the final price might wildly exceed the original amount you paid.
The best way to avoid pleasant surprises down the road is to hire a licensed home inspector to evaluate the home. While this might seem like an unnecessary investment, it can save you a lot of money you can spend on that luxurious piece of furniture or simply to pay the bills in your new home.
Here are a couple of things you should look for before buying a home.
Inspect the Roof
The roof is arguably the most important part of a home. It protects your home from harsh weather and debris. After all, people don’t use “a roof over your head” for nothing. However, some buyers leave this part of the home for last or don’t even check the roof at all. So before you even step into the house, make sure there aren’t any holes in the roof and see if its structure is solid. If you can see a defect in the roof, chances are you are going to have to invest a lot in repairing it. An experienced roof inspector will be able to tell you how preserved the roof is and if there are any threats to it such as termites, mold or weak support that may result in the roof caving in.
Look Past the Paint Job
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to turn any old shack into a dream house is to simply paint it. Sellers know this and will definitely use bold colors to mask any issues. To avoid falling into this trap, check the appliances, check for any loose wires and other structural issues.
Determine What You Need
When buying a home you need to know what your deal breakers are. Apart from the obvious ones such as old windows and decaying furniture, you need to consider what you’ll be using the home for. If you’re planning to start a family, consider if the home is big enough to house you. If you plan on having guests over often, make sure you have a spare bedroom. If your kids love having friends over, make sure the home is big enough to have a party on one end and a quiet bedroom on the other.
Taste the Tap Water
This is something homeowners always learn the hard way. Even if the water in the area is fit for drinking, the pipes in the home might be old and adding a certain unpleasant flavor to the water. While this doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, you will probably have to invest in a water filtration system, which is better to know up front.