At some point in every person’s life, he or she is going to consider buying a house. For some, the goal will be building equity and investing in the future. Others mainly seek freedom from having to live with roommates or their parents.
Whatever your reason, the odds are you aren’t prepared to do it just yet. Buying a house isn’t as simple as finding a listing on Zillow and submitting an offer.
The truth is, you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Here are four things to look for when you set out to purchase your first house.
- Consider Property Type And Size
Before you make any quick decisions, you should think about the future of your intended residence. Several considerations may have an impact on the type of structure you buy as well as the size.
- How long do you plan on living here?
- Do you hope this could be a forever home?
- By contrast, are you primarily interested in turning it into a rental property?
- Would you prefer to renovate and flip the house for a swift profit?
If your goal is to turn your house into a rental property, you may want to consider looking at multi-family homes rather than single-family. Those can open doors for your financial future that will empower you to work with a property management company so all you have to be concerned with is making a profit.
But if your goal is to make this the home you will live in for the foreseeable future, you should seek a residence that’s suited to your lifestyle. Details such as having enough rooms for possible children, a home office, or a fenced-in backyard for a dog may come into play.
Once you have a clear picture of your intended goals, you’ll have a baseline for the purchasing process.
- Study the Exterior
The curb appeal of a house might be everything you’ve dreamed of, but there’s more to the shell of a house than meets the eye. This is one of the most important reasons you should always arrange for a home inspection before you purchase a house.
A professional inspector will be able to see things you probably can’t. For the exterior of the house, you’ll want to ensure that:
- The roof doesn’t need replacement or repairs that could cost you upwards of $5,000 if not more
- There aren’t any foundation issues, such as cracks in the walls around doorways, windows, and floorboards, because this could demand more money than the house is worth
- The siding contains no signs of mold, rot, or other indications of decay
- The yard doesn’t promise more work than you could manage personally, if you had to maintain the grass, plants, watering, and other landscaping duties
- Inspect the Heating and Cooling Systems
HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is an industry in many states that require a license and certification to perform any work. This means if you aren’t a professional in this field, then you probably wouldn’t know what to look for.
Always ask what kind of cooling and heating system the house has, and when they were last replaced. Several types can have both a negative and positive impact on the house as well as your monthly bills.
Plus, if they have to be replaced or repaired, this could cost in the neighborhood of $5,000 to $10,000. Certain questions you may want to pose would include:
- Is the heating system forced-air or is it powered by a furnace?
- Does the furnace run on gas or electricity?
- Is there a boiler or radiator system?
- Is there central air, or are there individual air-conditioning units in the walls or windows?
- Check the Attic and Basement
If the house has an attic, basement, or both, these are essential places to inspect and get a better understanding of the structure of your potential home. For instance, you can check the attic to see if there are any leaks or apparent damage that could involve the roof.
The basement may feature a musky smell which suggests potential water damage or mold. These two areas of the house also provide opportunities to create additional functional living space.
If you might eventually require more room in your home, you could use these extra spaces to renovate later. True, this will mean further financial investment down the road, so try to include that in your budget if the extra space is something you desire.
Many people found themselves in a position to buy a house during the pandemic. But because the housing market was so competitive, it was common for shoppers to overlook some of the vital details.
When you’re searching for a house, it’s too easy to be dazzled by the superficial aesthetics. The bathroom, a gorgeous kitchen, or even spacious bedrooms with great natural light can feel like all you need.
But beneath glitz, you ought to investigate other facets of the property. Always try to be clear about what your goals are for the house, and don’t be afraid to hire someone to perform a home inspection. That could save you thousands in the long run.