5 things to Keep in Mind when Looking for a House
Buying a new house is a big decision that is often made more complicated by the overwhelming number of things to consider and the wide array of feelings, emotions, and thoughts that ensue as a result. Because of this, it can be easy to miss important red flags or even lose sight of the reasons you’re moving in the first place. The good news is that there are certain things for which every homebuyer should be on the lookout, and by developing an eye for them, you can spot crucial details from the very beginning. So, what these things should you keep in mind while searching for your next home? Read on to find out.
Problems with Foundation
The foundation is one of, if not, the most important part of a property. A proper foundation doesn’t just hold a house above the ground, but also protects the house from moisture, cold, and any potential movement in the land surrounding its core. Since a foundation is so deeply rooted in the house, it should last forever. If it doesn’t, you can expect to spend thousands to repair it. If the property you’re visiting has a basement, check to see if there are any large cracks in the foundation. This may be an indication that there are problems with the foundation. Another way to tell is if door frames appear to be uneven or have difficulty closing. Either way, make sure the property you are looking to buy is clear of these problems. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck bearing the cost.
Waterfront property is usually a major selling point of a house, unless that water consists of large puddles forming around it. Drainage issues are common among homeowners, especially those residing at the bottom of valleys or in areas known for frequent rainfall. In general, a property’s grading should slope away from the home’s foundation, preventing it from getting inside. If a property has a problem with overflowing gutters, spread out and uneven mulch, or water stains on walls, it’s probably a sign that there is poor drainage. Although not an ideal feature in a house you’re looking to buy, two practical solutions are to install gutter downspout extensions or a sump pump that connects flood-prone areas of a basement to a safer area outside that flows away from the house.
People feel strongly about the neighborhood in which they’re going to live. In fact, according to a recent Trulia poll, five out of six people care more about their neighborhood than the house itself. There are many reasons why this might be, but at its core, the local community’s crime ratings, school district ratings, local activities, and safety have the most to do with it. You’ll want to have a thorough understanding of the above and make sure the property meets all of your criteria if you hope to be satisfied with your purchase in the long run. For that reason, you shouldn’t feel like you have to rush your decision. Doing this research provides you with more time to save up towards your down payment, after all. If you need help, consider opening up an online banking account like one from Chime that enables you to save money automatically. The more you build your savings, the more options you’ll have when it comes time to choose your new home.
Throughout the duration of a property’s lifespan, it will undoubtedly need repairs. Fortunately, most major repairs require a professional whose expertise and labor help ensure high-quality workmanship and sustainability. Unfortunately, there are still some homeowners who attempt DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects in an effort to save money. There are, of course, homeowners who are completely competent in handling these types of repairs, but it’s unlikely most possess the skills of a professional. Therefore, during your house hunt, you’ll want to keep an eye out for smaller and larger repairs that look like they may require fixing or investment later on. Such projects might include leaky faucets, toilets, or missing trim work.
When you first walk into a property, does it strike you as smelling like an air freshener? Or worse, does it strike you as smelling outright foul? This can be a sign that the seller is trying to mask a lingering aroma that may be the result of years of smoking or pet ownership (although in the latter case, they might not be masking it at all). This is an obvious red flag and probably the first thing you’ll notice when you walk inside the property or into a new room within it. If you think this may be the case with the property you’re viewing, don’t feel brash about asking the homeowner about the issue or crossing the property off your list entirely.