Buying a home is an exciting time. However, there are some big ticket items that you should look for before making your final decision about buying a home. Big ticket repairs or replacements can make that “steal of a deal” become your new money pit. So don’t let your love for that house cloud your judgment or make you turn a blind eye to the obvious.
Here are a few things you should look for when buying your next home.
1. Kitchen. If the kitchen is something that is very important to you, then you should look for a home that has a kitchen you like. Because kitchen remodeling costs can range anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000+. You should carefully inspect each element of the kitchen to make sure it meets with your approval.
2. Bathrooms. The same goes for the bathrooms. Think about how much time you and your family spend in the bathroom. An average bathroom remodel starts at $16,000 and goes up from there. Inspect for leaks around fixtures, bathtubs and flooring. Are there enough bathrooms to comfortably accommodate your family’s life style? Are the bathrooms big enough and do they have enough storage to meet your needs?
3. Roof. A roof replacement has huge variations in cost depending on the size, quality and type of roof you decide to use. Additionally, there are other things to inspect for as well. Things such as the roofs decking – is it sagging? Will you have to replace the decking as well as the roof? Check the attic, the ceilings, the skylights etc. for any signs of water damage. Also check for cracked, ripped, curling or missing shingles or damaged flashing.
4. Heating & Air Conditioning. The replacement of your HVACs system can be very expensive. Sometimes a new unit can be retrofitted and sometimes it can’t. Current regulations of HVAC systems have caused some old types of air conditioning systems to be obsolete and you cannot just buy a new unit, you have to completely replace your entire system to make it work with your new unit. Consider anything older than 10 years old to be a potential problem. Additionally, an older machine will eat up energy at a much faster pace and costs more money to run.
5. Basement. Many homes in America have basements. If you have a basement, you will need to carefully inspect it for water damage. Look for water marks on the walls. Test the humidity levels as well. An unresolved water issue in the basement will render your basement virtually unusable to you and your family. Additionally, the humidity could become a problem for the rest of the house as well.
6. Driveways & Sidewalks. Needless to say, with the cost of cement and labor, these items will be very expensive if you have to replace them. So make sure you inspect them carefully to determine when and if they warrant replacement.
If you find problems with the home, that does not mean you should not buy that particular home. Just make sure you talk to your realtor about negotiating a price reduction to allow for any potential repairs or replacements.
You can also ask your realtor to negotiate with the sellers agent to have the repairs or replacements completed as a condition of the final sale. If the seller is not willing or able to accommodate your request, you may need to move on to another home.