Buying a new home can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are so many things to check before signing the final papers, many of which are easy to forget if you don’t have a list handy to remind yourself. The following four items are things you definitely need to have on that list to check when buying a new home.
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Disclosure Statement and Inspection
While the house might look amazing from the outside, there may still be problems that are hidden behind the walls. It’s the seller’s responsibility to make a statement on the state of the house, which will help you figure out what needs to be focused on before you make this big purchase. Laws about how detailed this has to be vary by state, and (even though it’s unethical) sellers might not be completely honest on the statement.
Because of this potential for dishonesty, the buyer should always have an inspection done on the house to make sure that you aren’t buying very expensive problems. Suggestions on things to make sure the inspector checks include the age and condition of the roof, the plumbing, and the electrical system, although inspectors will often have additional priorities for the inspection.
Check the Utilities
Central heat and air can be very expensive, and one of the best things to do before you purchase a house is to ask about how much that usually costs. There is some variability here, as the current owners may be far more energy conscious or, conversely, may like their home much colder or warmer than you do, leading to very different bills. Despite these differences, the current bills for all utilities are an excellent place to start estimating your future bills.
Talk to the Neighbors
Talking to, and about, the neighbors is important. You might be finding your dream home, but if you are on a street with people who party late into the night every night and you have to get up early that dream will soon turn into a nightmare. Checking in with the neighbors and finding out their opinions of the street and the area is helpful in making a final decision as these people are going to be a part of your life for as long as they live nearby.
While talking about the inspection and disclosure, it is helpful to have an HVAC professional inspect the system of the new house. These professionals know and understand the ins and outs of HVAC systems, which allows problems to be detected before the purchase goes through. Using the right size furnace filters, the HVAC system age and maintenance generally determine how long your system will last and how much of your money will go into servicing the HVAC, although other inspection points are also important.
Having a complete and accurate picture of what you are buying is always important, but it’s especially important when buying a house. While these four things aren’t the only things you should check, they are definitely a good start.