So you’re just about to get a 30-year loan in order to buy your dream house. Shopping for the right property is not exactly a breeze, especially when you are aware that you’re taking the serious commitment of paying a mortgage for almost the rest of your life. The least you can do is make sure it is worth it.
That is why you should never be in a hurry when viewing properties, because you don’t want to make an uninspired decision that will affect you in the long run. Why allocate only 10 minutes to seeing a house that is meant to become your home for the rest of your life?
Here are some factors you should take into consideration when looking to buy your perfect house.
- Don’t get fooled by the asking price. You know your budget and how much you are willing to spend. There are a lot of cases in which the asking price of a house seems like a real bargain, but always remember to take into consideration all the additional expenses that might come up: renovations, repairs, modifications and improvements.
- Check out the surrounding area. Your house might look like the perfect crib but its surroundings are just as important. Are there trees or nearby waters? Make sure you are not located in an area that is prone to wildfires, flooding or other natural calamities.
- Don’t forget about off-street parking. It might not seem like an important amenity when you are just a newly-wed, with no kids and no worries. But you might reconsider its usefulness later on.
- Thoroughly inspect for mold and damp. Check out for any moldy smells, especially coming from the bathroom, inspect the water pipes, drains and ceiling. Dampness is a real pain to deal with. It is expensive to get rid of and too dangerous for your health to ignore it.
- Everything starts with the foundation. A good foundation will save you a lot of trouble and money. Signals you should pay attention to are large horizontal cracks or gaps in the walls, above the window frames, floors that are uneven.
- Don’t forget about the roof. A new roof has a life expectancy of max. 20 years. Low quality materials shorten its life. Before you even go inside, check out the condition of the roof and the materials that were used.
- Is the house well-insulated? Well-insulated water pipes, attic and so on will have a positive impact on your bills. A well-insulated house will make sure you are kept warm during the winter and cool during the summer.
- What is the orientation of your house? Which direction does it face? There isn’t a general rule to this, since climate differs from one area to another. If you live in hotter places, like Texas for example, you might want to look for a house that faces north, in order to have a cooler temperature during the summer. In colder, darker areas, you might want to go for a south-facing house, because you want to enjoy as much sun as possible.
There are many other things you should consider before closing the deal: how long has the house been on the market for, how many other potential buyers are there, who are the neighbours and so on. The most important thing is to take your time and analyze everything carefully. Last, but not least, if everything seems to pass your tests, you should also hire a professional to do a meticulous home inspection.