When you find the house of your dreams, it’s easy to get carried away and want to put in an offer right away, as you don’t want anyone else to get their hands on it. However, it’s important to carry out certain checks before you commit to buying, as otherwise, you could end up with costly repair bills or ending up with a house that’s dangerous for your health.
Here are some checks to make before you sign on the dotted line.
Read more after the jump:
1. The heat and/or air con
Depending on the area you live in, you’re likely to have seasons where you’ll rely on the heating or seriously need the air conditioning switched on. When you’re on a second viewing, ask them to switch on the heating, then go around checking for any leaks or rust around the house, listening out for any noises and making sure the temperature is constant throughout the property. There can be many causes of uneven heat through a home, from leaky ducts to poor insulation, so it’s an important thing to check.
2. Risks from natural disasters
If you’re moving to an entirely new area of the country, then it’s important to know whether you’re at risk from any natural disasters. For example, those moving to the Southern United States may want to find out whether they’re moving to Hurricane Alley, an area of the USA where hurricanes often strike.
If your new home is in an area prone to natural disasters, then it’s important to be prepared. You are likely to have higher home insurance premiums and may need to get your home modified in case of extreme weather. You should also do some research and find local businesses who can help if problems strike, for example, Service Restoration is a company that works to restore your property after a flood.
3. Check home security
Home security is important for any homeowner, so before you move to a new area, check online to see what the crime statistics are like for the area. Anywhere with a high crime rate is going to mean higher premiums. You should check what security measures the current homeowner is taking, checking whether an alarm is installed and whether there are deadlocks.
4. Check your phone signal and internet speeds
Even areas close to cities can sometimes be dead spots for cell phone signal. Check whether your phone gets good signal and find out what kind of internet connection is available. Some rural areas still have poor access to broadband, and if this is important to you because you work from home, then you may need to see what alternatives are available.
5. Check the attic and basement
Even if the home looks safe and well maintained on the inside and out, a quick inspection of the attic or basement can bring up a number of issues. You should always inspect the attic before you buy a home, as you may spot broken rafters, notice a lack of insulation or spot cracks that could soon cause issues. Basements can also show potential issues too, especially damp and signs of rot, so take a flashlight and have a look around.
6. Get a home inspection
Home inspections aren’t a legal requirement in most states, and most mortgage lenders will carry out their own inspection of the home to determine its value, but it’s important to also get an independent inspection carried out for your own peace of mind. Unless you’re an expert in spotting things like mold and structural issues, you may not be able to see all of the potential problems a home can harbor.
Home inspections usually cost a few hundred dollars, which is expensive when you’re already paying for a bunch of fees to move, but they could potentially save you from buying a damaged home.
Images: Summer House by DDAANN