4 Important Things to Look Out for When Buying Your First Home
Buying a house is such an exciting time. If you are a first time home buyer then you probably have had to jump through a lot of hoops and gone through a lot of things in order to qualify for your dream home. This is why you need to be picky when it comes to what house you choose. Don’t just look at the amount of rooms and bathrooms. There are several things that you should pay attention to that could either make or break the deal or give you room to negotiate price. Here are a few of those things.
Find out when the roof was last replaced. If it has been longer than about 20 years, then it’s going to need replacing soon. Even if roof repairs and maintenance have been kept up on, they need to be completely replaced every 20 or 30 years. It might be a good idea to hire a professional residential roofing company to come out and take a look at the house you are considering to make sure that you are getting the right information. The owners of the house are under no obligation to tell you the truth but a professional roofer will be able to give you an estimate of how old the roof is and how well it has been maintained.
This is quite a common problem with older homes. Plumbing usually lasts 30 to 40 years, so it’s not something that homeowners tend to think about until something goes wrong. You’ll need to hire a professional plumber to come and look at the drains and sewers. They can usually bring a sewer camera so that they can snake their way through the drains without digging up the house and really see what condition the plumbing is in. If they find that the pipes are in need of replacement, this might be the perfect bargaining chip for you. There are some great pipe replacement techniques out there these days but you will definitely want to take that out of the price of the home, especially if it was not advertised as needing new plumbing.
There are many older foundations that are actually sinking. This is because the regulations for housing foundations was a lot less strict in earlier days. Nowadays, the foundation is checked and checked again before the actual house is built, but that wasn’t so before. If the home you are looking at has foundation issues, then you should steer clear of it. This isn’t something that is an easy fix. In fact, the home basically has be torn down, the foundation built up to modern standards and the house rebuilt in order to work. There’s buying a fixer up and then there’s buying a house that needs a whole new foundation. It simply is not recommended unless the property is basically given to you for free.
Take a look at the area where the house is. When you buy a house you are not just buying the home, you are buying the area. The proximity to convenient stores, atmosphere of the neighborhood and family friendliness all play a part in what you are buying. You also might want to look into the school district if you have children and make sure that the type of school that they will be going to is something that you approve of and want to send them to. Otherwise, no matter how nice the house is, you may not want to live there anymore.
If all of these things are in place, then you probably have a great house on your hands as long as the size and shape matches what you want. Of course, all of the little things are really nice to have, like a fireplace or a breakfast bar or bay windows, but the really important things are those that you can’t change easily. You can always build a breakfast bar, but you can’t replace the crumbling foundation of a home very easily. The plumbing and roofing can be done but it’s not cheap and you can’t ever change a neighborhood. Consider these things carefully before signing on the dotted line.