Buying a home or investing in a property is a huge financial decision one can make. It is best not to go into it blindly. Fresh paint and fancy lights are not it, but there is a whole first home essentials checklist process that one must consider.
It can be frustrating knowing what to look for and what can be overlooked, but not if you have a well-structured strategy that helps you in determining whether the house you are going to purchase is suitable for you or not. Things like if the neighbourhood is good, the schools are efficient enough, or the house has a good history, accounts too much while making a purchase. Emphasizing to0 much on a single factor can be of no help, but having a thorough look from the inside of the house is necessary.
First Home Essentials Checklist
To make buying a new house easier for you, let’s talk about things one must consider and what must not be considered too much.
Things you need to consider
Smaller looking from the outside, a crack in a wall, warped floors, and watermarks are an indication of bigger underlying issues. There are chances of piping issue inside the wall that is not detectable from the outside.
If you are on a regular hunt for your first home and touring all around, it is advisable to keep a thermal detector with you for a thorough inspection to save yourself from greater issues.
Keep a check:
- Vertically running hairline cracks that are no wider than ⅛ inches are pretty harmless. They can occur when the house’s foundation first settles.
- Wider horizontal cracks are of bigger concern here. They indicate more serious foundation issues and water damage.
Warped floors must bring a worry to you as it is the biggest red flag for a myriad of underlying problems. The reasons can be numerous. A rotting floor can be an indication of, flooding, termites, or low-quality construction.
Keep a check:
If the flooring adds a little too much spring to your footsteps then you need to be cautious and concerned.
Once again to detect underlying issues, you can get yourself an affordable thermal camera. Even if you are not going to purchase a new home, it can be useful for your current space. An infrared detector detects heatwaves and converts them into simple image results.
Every time it is not a gadget you will be needing. Get your other senses into use. Your pretty little nose can help you uncover various issues like mould and mildew.
Know that severe issues like these only cause odour when the problem has progressed, which clearly is a red flag. It can cost you a leg and an arm to find the base cause and then repairing the damage.
Keep a check:
- Familiar with wet socks; well, a mould smells exactly like that. Whereas, mildew tends to emit a less intense “musty” odour.
- Ignoring such issues can be hazardous to the overall health of you and your house, whereas, resolving these issues can be hazardous to your pocket.
4. Integrated Fixtures
Hey hey, stop focusing on the wonky ceiling fans or hanging cabinet doors. Look at the electrical wiring along with cooling and heating systems integrated behind the walls and floors. Exposed and eroded wires, poor ventilation system, HVAC system failures, leaky water heaters, and a lot more there is to look for.
Keep a check:
- Vibrating wall outlets and flickering lights are major indications of issues with electrical wiring
- Orange or brown tinted water is an indication of rusty water pipes, which needs to be changed no matter what and the whole process of checking where the problem lies can be costly apart from repairing.
- Fainted gas smell in the house other than the kitchen can be indicative of water heater leakage.
- Do not shy of turning on the AC system and look for yourself if it makes any squealing or grinding sound. It can be a problem with the service or replacement on the whole.
5. Unpermitted Additions
Not to mention, unpermitted additions can cost you more than anything and that too legally. Most of the time it happens that you might show up to a listed number of beds and bathrooms only to find out that there is an extra room (bed or bathroom) in the house. Well, that for sure is not a good thing to find out.
Keep a check:
Before getting too excited about the extra room, make sure that it is permitted. The pain that comes with unpermitted construction can not only cost you financially but also mentally;
- If it is not constructed properly it can be life-threatening.
- Unpermitted construction can saddle you with huge fines.
- Getting the work permitted is not cheap at all.
You will either have to get unpermitted construction on the land or in the house permitted or either take it down, both of which are not very pleasing. Even if you want to remould; adding or removing walls, making changes to the plumbing or electrical, or just adding a new window in the wall, you will be needing a permit.
So, it is better safe than sorry.
Things you can overlook
Well, the things that most people look for are not as essential as underlying issues, which are not visible to the bare eye.
Let’s have look at things that if you would not look for can be a win-win for your next purchase.
- Furniture and decor: the first thing noticed when you enter the house is the interior decoration. It is something you will eventually be changing as per your taste and need. Furniture and decor is not a permanent element of a house, which makes it clear that it must be the last factor you consider while making a purchase for your new house.
- Walls and floors treatment: floral wallpaper or painted red wall is not going to be there forever. Painting a house is one of the easiest and cost-efficient jobs to do and also adding a personal element to the house you will after all painting the house as per your taste.
- The fence around the yard: If you own a pet or children, a fence around a yard can be your high priority, but you cannot just pass the deal for a fence, right? Installing a fence is inexpensive and in most areas, there is no permit required to put up a fence in your house.
Keep a check:
Sit back and make a list of things that are cheaper to get done with. These are the things that you can completely overlook if you are getting a deal with major issues solved.
Bonus Checklist; Questions you must ask during a home tour
Here are some of the most important decision-making factors you must bring up during your home tour. Open-house or a tour is an opportunity for you to straightaway ask for critical information from the dealer about the home.
- When the offer is due?
- How many offers have already been made?
- What are the owners selling the property? (make sure the place is not haunted, lol)
- Is the home original design being altered?
- If there is any other issue with the property?
These are the question that pops up in our mind while making a purchase for even the smallest pre-loved things, then why not bring everything to the table beforehand.
Long Story Short; First Home Essentials Checklist
We know it can be exciting to look for houses and frustrating at the same time, Here with this, first home essentials checklist, offer you all the information regarding what to look for while making a purchase for a new house. If you already are touring an open house, then try looking at the house from a different perspective. Our guide has gathered factors that play a significant role in making the right decision. with this brief, yet highly informative first home essentials checklist, you can find your dream house in no time. It is all about weighing what matters and what does, not in the whole process.
Important: This information is not an alternate for professional advice from a licensed real estate agent as per a particular situation or circumstances. This article is to help you with general information only. For financial, legal, tax or insurance-related queries, you must consult a professional.
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