FindItMore | In a survey conducted by NerdWallet in 2017, nearly half of all homeowners reported having at least some regrets when it came to purchasing their new homes. No matter where you plan to buy, Houston, Austin, San Diego or somewhere else, before you take the leap, it’s important to understand what to look for in order to make the best decision possible when making this significant commitment.
If you love where you live, you’ll probably be able to deal with just about any imperfection your home might have. As the one thing you can’t change is its location, that’s arguably the most important thing to consider. Be sure to look at noise levels from traffic, neighbors and animals as well as your commute to work, how safe the area is, access to shopping, dining, schools and parks. You may even want to introduce yourself to potential new neighbors to get a feel for who lives there.
The size of the home is an important aspect too. There are many questions you should ask to yourself. How many bedrooms do you need? Will you need more in the near future? Do you want to be able to accommodate friends and extended family when they come to visit? Do you plan it for entertaining? Do you need a lot of space for belongings? While a large home can provide you with the extra space you need, keep in mind that your utility bills will be higher, and you’ll need more furniture too.
When you walk in the home, does it feel cold or stiflingly hot? Cooling and heating systems are expensive to replace or repair, and one that’s inefficient can mean exorbitant utility bills.
How does the roof look? Are there holes, is it caving in, or is it relatively new? Be sure to ask when it was installed and ask to see the warranty to back that up. A newer roof, especially one made from a sturdy material will be better able to hold up against things like hail and wind, which means you’re likely to get a lower rate on homeowners’ insurance and avoid roof repair bills for a while. Keep in mind that an older home may have several layers of roofing, some of which could include asbestos which means at some point, all the layers will have to be removed and repairs costs are likely to be high.
Investigate the floors, looking for unusual dipping or sagging near the bathroom or in other areas of the home which could mean plumbing that’s not up to par or structural problems.
If there’s a basement, take a close look for signs of water. If it’s dry and it’s been raining recently, that’s a good sign. On the other hand, if it’s been sunny and dry out but you notice dampness in the basement, it’s important to dig deeper to determine where the water is coming from.
The site the home is located on is important to consider too. Is the yard suitable for your needs, such as gardening, pets, kids or perhaps room for a pool? Is the area prone to flooding, wildfires or other natural disasters?