Buying a new home is stressful for any first timer, and the real estate horror stories out there don't make the experience any easier. Even if you have invested in a home before, there are probably plenty of things you forgot to ask about, many of which might have been a major headache later on. Regardless of your prior experience with home ownership, it's better to be prepared going in than assume you already know everything.
Investing in a home requires a lot of trust and commitment. If you forget to check the plumbing up front or didn't take note of the foundation, you might end up with major malfunctions that can set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars. To save you from the stress, this list of things to look out for before buying a new home details everything you need to know about a place before signing the deed.
Although the whole process can be overwhelming, knowing what to ask your realtor when buying a house is almost guaranteed to take away much of the pressure. Then, you can focus on making a decision with as much clarity and excitement as there should be.
- 17 VOTES
Make Sure The Home Has A Solid Foundation
Foundation problems are hard to fix, they decrease the value of the home, and they get progressively worse over time. You can tell if a home has foundation problems if there are uneven floors, cracks in the walls, or doors that stick in place or swing unnecessarily.
The foundation of a home helps maintain its structural integrity. Loaning institutions generally don't close on homes with poor foundations, and repairs can be expensive. It's better to avoid the hassle than deal with it as a new owner. If the foundation has recently been addressed, however, the structure is likely stronger than ever.Is this important?
- 25 VOTES
Take Time To Literally Smell The Place
One of the worst-case scenarios when buying a new home is finding out that smell doesn't go away. Look out for any fishy scents in every room, like smoke of any kind - smokey smells often linger - pet odors, mold and must, bleach, chemicals, or even an overwhelming sense that someone is covering up a home's natural musk with candles, plugins, and other products.Is this important?
- 34 VOTES
Get A Professional Home Inspection Done
Home inspections provide you with a detailed outline of what to expect from the home you're about to purchase. They also act as a negotiation tool if you find any additional costs left unaddressed by the seller. Most inspectors cost between $300 and $500 and can be found via online tools that offer personal recommendations.
Make sure you know ahead of time what the inspector will and will not check for. You will want to be present for the inspection so you don't miss anything. Most inspectors will look at the structure's foundation, lot, roof, exterior, attic, basement, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling system, and appliances, as well as checking the odor and looking for interior evidence of leaks.
Make sure to ask the seller for a full disclosure statement prior to the inspection so you're aware of any unpermitted work by the owner by the time you've made your offer.Is this important?
- 43 VOTES
Feel Out The Temperature Of Each Room
The temperature of a home can seriously impact your comfort - and your utility bill. Check the temperature of each room, check if each room is properly insulated, and figure out what kind of thermostat the home has in place. You don't want to be running up your bill during the winter months or having to sleep on top of your covers in the summer.
Also make sure to ask about the fireplace, what kind it is, and how it will affect heating in the rest of the home.Is this important?