Being a homeowner is an amazing feeling and you should be proud of yourself. But, if you’re about to become a homeowner for the first time in your life, you should tread carefully. Don’t let yourself fall in love with a certain house; you need to think things through level-headedly. What’s more, you have all the right to take as much time as you need to inspect every little detail and corner of your prospective new home. It’s not that you should think that everyone’s out to fool you, but you simply never know what to expect unless you inspect. That said, make sure to check the following things before actually proceeding with a house purchase.
1. Are All of the Appliances in Working Order?
Some appliances may look positively amazing and modern, but in reality, they may not work properly. Therefore, don’t be lazy and go through the house in order to actually check every single appliance that’s supposed to be yours once you buy the property. Obviously, some houses are sold unfurnished and you won’t have this particular thing to deal with. But, if you plan to buy a furnished house, you should really make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth.
2. Test Out the Outlets
Just like the appliances, you should do a thorough check-up of all the outlets in your prospective new home. After all, what good is an outlet if it doesn’t work? What’s more, an outlet that doesn’t work may point out to some other electricity and wiring issues. The easiest way to check whether the outlets are working is to bring your phone charger with you and plug it in every outlet that you see.
3. Take a Look at the Electrical Panel
You don’t have to be an electrician in order to recognize good workmanship in the electrical panel. If all the wires are neat and well-connected with clear markings and maybe even labels, you can be sure that the wiring is done professionally. You might want to rethink your decision in case the electrical panel is a complete mess of old wires. Of course, you should always have a proper inspector do the electricity review, but just because something works at the moment doesn’t mean it will work in the long run. You’re the one spending the money and planning to live there so you need to be 100% satisfied.
4. Check for Damage and Safety Concerns
Unfortunately, not all homes are sold in the state that the sellers present them in. This is why you need to be very particular with your questions and inspection. Just like with wiring, make sure that the plumbing is professionally done. Look for potential water damage hidden away by the paint. Ask to see the basement and attic in order to make sure there’s no water damage, cracks or a roof in need of repair. You also need to be absolutely certain that the house has a proper ventilation system. Furthermore, check the fire duct system as this will be your main deffence against extensive fire damage.
5. Make Sure All Doors and Windows Close Properly
When you’re doing your inspection, it’s essential that you don’t forget about the doors and windows. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to ignore this bit, especially if it all looks well presented. However, you should still go through the entire house and casually open and close the windows and doors. This will immediately provide the results and you’ll be able to see if there are any doors or windows that don’t close properly. Obviously, this can be an issue, especially when it comes to drafts. Pay special deal of attention to the front and back doors as these need to be secure enough with an adequate lock mechanism to protect your home from potential break-ins.
6. Consider the Energy Efficiency
Not every homeowner cares about the energy efficiency of their home, but you should. After all, this will reduce your electricity bill and also help you do your bit for the environment. So, if you care about your house being sustainable, one of the paramount things you want to check is the quality of insulation. This also includes the thickness of windows and doors, and not just the wall protection. Ask about the heating and cooling systems. What’s more, when you’re doing your appliances inspection, see whether these appliances are star-rated or not. Dimmer light switches and LED bulbs are also a sign of a more sustainable home. Also, a smart thermostat may just be the thing you’re looking for from a sustainable home, so keep that in mind as well.
7. Look Over Everything in the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in one’s home. As this is the place where you get to spend some quality alone time, it’s also important that the bathroom is to your liking. Aside from that, everything should be perfectly functional. As mentioned before, it’s an absolute must to check the plumbing. But, sometimes, even if the plumbing is fine, the actual utilities may not be. With that in mind, make it a point to see how well the toilet flushes, whether the sink works and if the shower pressure is satisfactory. Moreover, check how easy it is for water to go down the drain as well as the efficiency of the water heater.
8. Music and Air Fresheners?
In case you can hear the music coming from one of the rooms while the fan and maybe even AC are on, you might want to ask yourself why that is. Actually, playing music and creating white noise are all common techniques for masking the noise outside. Obviously, noise may not be a deal breaker for you, but you should still ask the seller to turn everything off so you can properly hear your surroundings. In the same vein, focus on what you can smell. If every room is sprayed with air fresheners, that’s a clear sign that there’s some other smell in need of covering. Bad smells might occur due to a bad sewage system, mould, moisture, and so on, and these are all essential things you need to know before buying a house.
9. Address Your Financial Plan
Your entire inspection should be part of your research and in accordance with your budget. After all, you need a proper financial plan when you’re house hunting. Most of the time, the price you pay for the house is not all that you’ll need to give money for. Houses are rarely sold in perfect condition for everyone. This is why you need to be sure what faults will and what won’t be a deal breaker for you and your budget. Also, you might want to consider the changes you want to make and additional renovation work you’d be interested in. This all costs money. And let’s not forget the bills. You need to inform yourself about all of these matters and do your research thoroughly in order to find a nice house that you can actually afford.
Buying a house is a huge step and, therefore, it’s not a process that should be rushed or taken lightly. As mentioned, stop yourself from falling in love with a house as you need to look at the property objectively. Exercise patience and give it time; it’s not impossible to find your dream house at your first viewing but it’s also highly unlikely. But, when you’re open and clear about what you want with your real estate agent, the search will definitely end up successful.