Buying a house is one of the most important things that you can do. It allows a higher level of financial freedom, security, and it is a huge boon to your assets. Since it’s one of the biggest purchases that you’ll probably ever make, it stands to reason that you shouldn’t take one look at a place or buy the same day you visit it. There are however some telltale signs you can check out for yourself about whether or not the house of your dreams will turn into the house of your nightmares at a later date. We’ve compiled a few of them here in the hopes of steering prospective homebuyers in the right direction, and not into a sinkhole or a leaky roof disaster.
1. Look Up!
We literally mean look upwards! Before you even enter the house you can tell whether or not it will be a headache by checking on the roof to make sure it isn’t leaky. Check to see if it’s relatively new (a new roof could lower your homeowner’s insurance rates). Make sure there aren’t any obviously gaping holes anywhere. What’s it made out of? Sturdier materials will save you time, hassle, and possibly your roof coming off in a natural disaster.
2. Make Sure It’s Warm
Some houses and apartments may look great but once you move in you’ll find another story. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to get a house that has been well insulated. Insulation may not be a problem in the Florida Keys, but here in Boston winters are brutal and unforgiving, and you’re going to need somewhere warm to escape from them. Plus you’ll save lots of cash on heating costs and insulation can even help to soundproof your place from street noise.
3. Touch Stuff
When you’re touring your prospective property, don’t treat it like a museum! It’s going to be yours one day, so make sure everything works. Flip every switch you get near to see what light it turns on. Test the floorboards and the stairs for unpleasant creaks. Is the banister rickety? Open doors, test water pressure, taste the water, and even flush the toilets to make sure that there won’t be lots of hidden fees in your dream home.
4. Look at the Land
Maybe you’ve found the perfect house where everything works, but what about the land itself? Always make sure to walk around the property to see possible disasters waiting to happen. Are you near or in a floodplain? Are there trees that may fall on the house? Quicksand? Landscaping can get pricey, so it’s best to just make sure the property is up to snuff.
5. Hire A Home Inspector
This is probably the most important one. While you may be able to identify some problems in the house while you inspect it, chances are you aren’t equipped or trained to find out about things like termites, dry rot, seepage, or uneven or poorly constructed floors, walls, and beams. Get someone with a good reputation and have them make a thorough inspection before purchasing.