When looking for a home, it’s easy to fall in love with certain aspects of a house and totally disregard others. Whether it’s the neighborhood that the house is located in, the neighbors, or the curb appeal, you should take a step back and start looking at the whole picture. The issues that you might have missed will almost definitely give you big headaches in the future, and if possible, they might be expensive to fix.
A house that may seem like it’s in great shape could be hiding some major damage and/or structure issues that will cost you an arm and a leg, while a house that doesn’t make such a great first impression could be easily and cheaply fixed to your liking, saving you big money in the long run. Here are some of the most important deal breakers that you should be aware of.
Important Deal Breakers
1. The location. Your new house will probably be your home for a long time, so its location should be one of the most important factors that will influence your home buying decision. Houses that are in close proximity to interstates, busy intersections, or train tracks might not be such a good choice if you don’t want to deal with a lot of noise and traffic. Also, one of the main considerations when buying a house is the neighborhood that it is in. An out of shape house located in a nice neighborhood could have a greater value than a good looking house located in a bad neighborhood.
2. The foundation. Foundation damage is not only one of the most expensive issues that the house can have, but it can also cause other damage to your home unsuspectingly. The house’s plumbing and walls can be affected by a cracked foundation, meaning that the repair bill will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Even if the foundation was fixed, make sure that the work is covered by a warranty, preferably a lifetime warranty.
3. The roof. Changing, and even repairing, the roof of a house is a very expensive operation. Pay close attention to what shape the roof is in and, if the seller doesn’t agree to pay for its repair, it would probably be better to keep looking. Of course, this all relates to the cost of the house. The house may be listed for cheaper than other similar houses because its roof needs replacing. The biggest problem when buying a house with a damaged roof is that, when the first heavy rain comes, you might find yourself having to repair more than just the roof.
4. The plumbing and wiring. Two other parts of a house that can be very expensive to repair or replace are the electrical wiring and the plumbing. Re-wiring and re-plumbing a house involves opening up walls, digging, and usually quite a bit of time. Faulty electrical wiring can cause fires and bad plumbing can cause floods, so they are both problems that need dealing with before they put your life in danger.
5. Schools. If you have children, or plan on having them in the future, your home’s proximity to schools will be important. More important than that, though, is what school district your house is in. The quality of education, as well as the distance, both matter when you have kids. If the school is too far from your house, you will have to spend significant time driving your kids to and from school, or they will have to spend a lot of time on the bus.
6. Termites or pests. Probably unseen when you first visit the house, termite and pest problems can also be a deal breaker. Hiring someone who can thoroughly search the house for any of these problems is a great idea. Even if the seller has gotten rid of termites, they can still come back if prevention methods were not used, so make sure you inquire about what methods that prevent the reappearance of termites were used and when.
When buying a house, try to look at the big picture. The location is very important, as you will probably live there for many years to come, but you shouldn’t ignore the house’s existing damage just because you think you have found exactly what you were looking for. Even small damage to the roof or foundation can become a big and expensive problem in the future, so finding them before you buy the house is of utmost importance. A few hundred dollars spent on a professional home inspection can save you a fortune in the future.