5 Things To Look For When Buying Your First Home
Buying your first home is an exciting experience. You are entirely in control of what you purchase, so you should make sure that you are making the choices that best suit you. You will have a specific price point for your purchase. You may also have a preferred neighborhood or area.
When you are working with a Realtor, you can make a wish list of features that you want. They can help you to narrow your choices down. Once you have the shortlist, you can move forward with trying to determine which one you will make an offer on. To do this, you need to look at several points. Consider these five to get you started.
#1: Check the layout of the home
The design of the home determines how your family will move around the house. Some people prefer large open spaces like great rooms so they can completely customize the area. Others want individual rooms that serve specific purposes.
If you entertain a lot, you might want all the common rooms in one area with the bedrooms separated. Having a bathroom in each area is probably a priority.
You might want a home that has bedrooms that are spread out. Some parents prefer this if they are moving with older children so that the kids have their own area of the house and the parents have theirs.
#2: Inspect the ductwork and piping
The ductwork and piping give you a good idea of how the home was maintained. Most people won’t think to check for things like duct cleaning that can lengthen the life of the HVAC unit. If you take the time to do this inspection, you could save yourself a lot of hassle. Leaky ductwork can put a strain on the HVAC and might mean that you don’t ever have comfortable rooms.
When it comes to the piping in the home, you need to look at the type of pipes and the age. This is especially important if the house is older because galvanized piping might have interior pits that could impact the quality of the water. You might even have to be concerned about lead in the pipes if the house is older.
#3: Verify the structural integrity
The structural integrity of the home is one of the crucial considerations when you are trying to decide whether to make the purchase or not. Some homes, such as those using sustainable construction methods, are more likely to still be in good condition. Insulated concrete forms are one building material that can provide long-term stability for a home.
A home that has a wood frame construction is likely going to be weaker than one made with ICF because wood can weaken and warp over time and with the changing weather. ICF isn’t likely to do this because the forms, which fit together like interlocking blocks, are durable and sturdy.
You can have the inspector try to determine the structural integrity of the home, but you can also look for signs that something is amiss. Open a few windows to see how easily they go up. If there is a problem with the “bones” of the house, the windows might stick. The same is true for doors. Bring a marble with you and put it on the floor. It might move a bit, but if it rolls quickly toward an area, it can mean that the floors are uneven due to settling.
#4: Look into the security features
The security features of the home can make or break the deal. You don’t want any that are worn out. Check to see if there is a camera system in place and find out if you will be able to transfer the service. Look at other security features like lighting around the outdoors or a window and door alarm system. If the home has a pool, verify that the fence surrounding it has a gate that closes automatically.
While you are looking at the security features, you should check out the crime rate in the area. This gives you an idea of what types of security items you will need to add or that you can do away with if you purchase the home.
#5: Review the smaller details
“All homes have their quirks. Look around to see if you can spot them at the home. While you are doing this, you can also find out what special features the home has. Look at the condition of anything that is touted as a feature. Also, check the integrity of the other parts of the home that are difficult to inspect at first glance like the roof, the quality of roofing material and integrity of the home siding.” – Jeff Guthrie, Phoenix Roofing Contractor and Roof Repair Expert
On the outside of the home, you can look for things like edging around the yard or additional lights near the outdoor living space. On the inside, think about features like linen closets, large windows and breakfast nooks.
You will know when you find the house that you should place an offer on. By doing your due diligence before you make the offer, you can reduce the stress and increase the excitement that comes with purchasing a new home.