10 Things Every Buyer Should Consider before Placing an Offer
As a potential home buyer you probably have an idea in your head of what you are looking for in a home. But, there are other things to look for when you go to view potential properties. Here are 10 things every buyer should ask themselves before they place an offer on a specific home.
- Do any areas feel damp?You can sometimes just feel it in the air. The main giveaway signs can also be a musty or a moldy smell in the air or water stains on walls or ceilings.
- Is the foundation structurally sound?Just because a house looks and feels solid does not mean it is. Hairline cracks in foundations are common and may be nothing to worry about, but big cracks are a red flag. Once you place an offer, you will have a home inspection done that will provide greater information, but it is wise for a buyer to look for obvious signs of structural issues before placing an offer.
- Is there enough storage space?Storage space is important! Where will you keep your vacuum cleaner, towels, spare linens, boxes of holiday decorations, and all those things you can never seem to throw away? Is there room for cupboards or shelves to be built in? Are the closets big enough for all of your clothes?
- Are the rooms big enough for your needs?It pays to walk the room, compare the size of the furniture in it with your own, and really evaluate if the room is big enough.
- Do the window frames look maintained and in good shape?The condition of a home’s window frames can help you gauge if the home was maintained and if it is energy efficient. If they are wood, look for soft areas that indicate rot. If there is condensation between window-panes, they are letting in air and moisture. This is costly to replace, and it will cost you in heating and cooling if you don’t.
- How old is the roof?Always learn the condition of the roof as well as its age. Your home inspector will determine the condition, but the seller should be able to disclose how old it is. It is an expensive item to ignore since replacing a roof can cost, on average, about $8,000, and newer roofs have a life expectancy of only 20 -30 years, depending on the materials.
- Is the wiring and plumbing up to code?Improper wiring can be dangerous, and rewiring your new home can be costly. Also check out the fuse board, which is often an indication of the state of the wiring. Does it look old and outdated? As for the pipes, run the faucets to check the water pressure, ask if they are insulated, and ensure they are not lead pipes, which would have to be replaced.
- Is the property quiet enough?Stop talking with your real estate agent long enough to listen to the sounds you can hear while within the house. Do you hear the nearby highway? Do you hear the neighbor’s dog barking incessantly? These will be the noises you will live with.
- What’s the neighborhood like?Think about your personal daily needs and wants from the neighborhood you live in. Ask yourself if this home provides these things. Can you walk to a corner store to get milk, or do you have to drive? Is it a good neighborhood for running or walking your dog?
- Does it feel like home?This is probably the most important question: “Does it feel like you could make it your home?” This is an individual feeling that just seems to happen when a buyer finds a property that fits them and their lifestyle.
The home you buy should be structurally sound, have few repairs needed (and if there are repairs, you should be able to afford them), and it should make you feel at-home. Share specific needs and wants with your real estate agent, before you start looking at homes. This helps to narrow down your search to fit exactly what you are looking for.
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