You have spent ages looking for a perfect place to call your home, and it finally materialized just when you were about to give up. Hooray, mate, you are in luck! Or are you, really? Before you whip out your pen to sign the contract, take a closer look at the critical points around the house and make sure your dream home is not just that – a dream vision that will disintegrate before your eyes as soon as you slap your family name on the estate. We have a few tips here to help you distinguish between a dream house and a money pit and avoid losing a fortune on post-purchase repairs.
The basement: From underground up
The first thing to inspect scrupulously in a future home is the basement. A thorough inspection of the underground level of the house will reveal important details about construction quality, state of plumbing and wiring and overall shape of your future home’s supporting structure.
Walls and corners: Cracks, dents and peeling paint
Another aspect of the house that can point to serious problems, walls and corners should be examined carefully for cracks, peeling paint and signs of dampness and mold. Applying fresh wall paint and fixing minor dents and chinks is easy, but in case your dream home suffers from chronic moisture, poor insulation and extensive wall damage, you may want to reconsider your investment.
Electricity galore: Wiring and appliances
When it comes to electricity, home buyers cannot be too cautious. Check the state of power outlets, HVAC system and exposed wiring, and consider getting a professional inspector to examine your home. A home inspection can save you tons of cash in the long run, and house sellers often cover up potential power issues because these constitute one of the costliest post-purchase investments for future owners.
Windows and doors: If the view fits
During the tour of the house, pay attention to windows and doors. In solidly built homes, windows constitute the biggest heat leak, so consider fitting them with high-quality custom blinds and shades to cut your utility bills in heating seasons. Doors can be repainted and decked with weatherstripping at a relatively affordable price, and it may also be a wise idea to invest in a fresh set of double- or triple-glazed windows for maximum long-term savings.
Attic and roof: Insulation, size and purpose
If your family is expected to grow, note that a home with limited living space will not be a lasting solution however charming it may seem now. That is where a vacant attic may prove highly useful: spacious lofts can be transformed into livable rooms without major difficulties should the need for it arise. Inspect the attic for signs of draft and roof leaks, and calculate the costs of insulation upgrades and loft conversion to stay on the safe side.
Bathrooms: Down the drain
Bathrooms are a common problem in most homes, so thoroughly examine the lavatory during the preliminary viewing. In case the restroom does not have a window, installing one may be necessary to prevent accumulation of excessive moisture and mold growth. Check cables and fittings carefully: bathrooms can be a site of household catastrophes starring water and power, the outcome of which can be fatal.
Backyard: A dreamy touch
Curb appeal is one more point to bear in mind when looking for a place to settle down. Minor issues such as overgrown backyard and neglected pool can be easily taken care of, but if the side wall of your dream home is facing the back of an apartment block or a busy motorway, no investment, however high it may be, will buy you a better view.
Ready to move in? Buying a home is probably the biggest investment of your life, so make sure you have all your critical bases covered – once you sign the contract, there will be no going back.