When buying a new home, we are often skeptical-as we should be. Purchasing a property is a big investment and should never be taken lightly, and there are times where a new homeowner may be duped into buying a home with more problems than expected. So, it is best to always go into your next home search prepared, and ready to ask any question that may be crucial to your home-buying decisions. It is your Real Estate agent’s responsibility to answer each and every question truthfully, but only if you ask. However, in order to ask, one must know exactly what to look out for, what problems(concerning the property) are more important than others, and so on. Well, our team at Mentor Homes has compiled a list of 10 things to look out for when buying a new home- we understand that the process of purchasing your first home can be a tedious one. But, not anymore- with these tips, buying a new home will be a walk in the park!
1. Research The Neighborhood
Before you start the process of buying a home, do some research first. Research the city, town, and/or neighborhood you are thinking about moving to. Use tools such as Crime Reports, or any other tool that gives you detailed information about the crime rates of that area. Once satisfied, check out the neighborhood yourself (always in the daytime), locate the nearest hospitals, parks, entertainment, etc, maybe go to a local pub and ask some patrons about the neighborhood – they would know.
2.Check the Roof for Any Damage.
Once you find the right neighborhood and the right house- before you even put a foot in the door, inspect the roof for repairs. We know this can be hard, depending on the size, style, and type of home, but try your best. Does the roof look new, or is it caving in and/or dirty? If you see any obvious holes or damage in the roof, it is safe to assume that it will end up costing you. Make sure you do a full visual expectation of the roofing from all sides of the home. Bring binoculars to get a closer look from the ground. You can never be too cautious!
3.Take in the Heat! Or Lack Of..
After your thorough roof inspection, and you make it through the front door, take in the temperature of the home. Make sure everything feels normal (temperature-wise), check for peeling wallpaper, or any mold that may arise from humidity problems. If the house you are prospecting looks old and frumpy, odds are it probably is- and may need a new heating/cooling system. These can be very expensive, and hard to get to if the house is old. Make sure the furnace is up-to-date, as inefficient ones can skyrocket your utility bills.
If you are house hunting and you come across an old home, which you really love. Be sure you keep your nose on alert for any sewage smells, typically caused by a blockage in pipes. With old homes, comes old plumbing- so ask questions about the sewage (plumbing) systems. Make sure everything is running efficiently, and if not, make sure you take the proper steps to remedy this issue; maybe ask your agent to adjust the asking price or if the owner can provide repair before the move-in date, etc. Also be aware of any smoke or pet odors, and mildew.
5.Get Into The Feel of Things.
We mean this in a literal sense, touch everything! Flick every switch in the house, turn on every faucet, open every cabinet, closet, window; you can never be too thorough. Make sure everything is in working order before you even think about making an offer. Go to every extreme to ensure that you will be making the best investment. Even taste the water in the tap; flush all toilets to make sure there is no clogging. After all, this can be your next home, a big step in life- so make sure everything is working firsthand and that you will be safe in your new home.
6.Check the Curb..Appeal
Don’t just look around inside the property, inspect the outside too. Notice the grass and/or garden, take in your surroundings and check for tree roots that might affect the foundation of the house. Is area you are in is prone to any natural disasters such as floods or wildfires, and if the answer is yes, what are the precautions taken to alleviate those instances? Also, ask your agent if the driveway is shared or not- we know this is a lot to take in, but when buying a new home, you can’t help but notice the surrounding!
7.Invest In a Well-Insulated House.
Your new home should be a home that is comfortable to live in, that’s the most important thing. Right? So check the attic, basement, heating and plumbing ducts for proper insulation. Great insulation can cut down heating and cooling cost in the summer/winter seasons, and ensure comfortability. Double or Triple pane windows are great for cost-efficiency and can act as a sound barrier for outside noise.
8.Determine What are your Deal Breakers
Aside from the basics, like windows and countertops, think about the purpose of your home and the requirements for your lifestyle, like storage, or a big backyard for the kids and/or dog to play in. It’s also smart to aim for a home with an extra bedroom, only if have or planning on kids, or guests. It might be a good idea to look for a home with an entertainment area set far away from the master bedroom if your significant other is a night owl, hehe.
9.Quiz the Seller or Agent.
Again, we advise any prospective homebuyer to ask all the appropriate questions when investing in their first home. It is crucial that you get the most bang for your buck. So why not quiz your agent/seller? Make sure they know all the ins and outs of the property, and that they are aware of damages (if any). Also, test if they are truthful, maybe you have noticed something before they can mention it, wait and see if they bring it up and if not- then mention it. Here are a couple of questions that you may want to ask your Real Estate Agent, or Seller:
-How much are the taxes and utility bills? (So you can assess your investment properly)
-How long has the property been on the market?
-How many offers are on the table and how motivated is the owner to sell?
-Has there been any price reductions since the house got on the market, and if so, why?
10.Get a Home Inspection
There’s only so much you can do with your own 5 senses and only so much you can see. It might be best to enlist a professional to ensure the foundation is solid and the wiring is up to code. Home inspectors can even check for lead paint and wood-eating pests. It is a fact that every house has a defect. Some will be obvious to you, and the vast majority will be fixable, but it’s best to know before you buy. Not only will that help you negotiate a lower price, but it can also prepare you for any necessary repair costs that may arise.
For more info or if you’re in need of a contractor for your NEW home, Contact us: