Purchasing a home is a huge commitment and will have an impact on both your quality of life and your finances. Before signing on the dotted line, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting a fair deal and that you’re aware of any potential problems. Real estate investor Richard Vesole covers some things you should pay close attention to while considering a house or other property.
“You don’t want to rush into buying a property,” Richard Vesole says. “Even if you have to act quickly, you still want to do your due diligence. If you and the home inspector you hire miss something major, it could lead to a lot of headaches later on.”
When considering a home, you’ll want to hire a home inspector to make sure everything is in good order. Often, to get a mortgage, you’ll have to get a home inspector to sign off. That said, while hiring a pro is always a wise idea, you’ll want to be proactive yourself.
First, you’ll want to have a close look at the foundation. If you notice cracks in floors and walls, especially near support columns, or see that the chimney is leaning, something might be wrong with the foundation. Unfortunately, fixing foundations can often be very expensive.
If there’s a basement, check for signs of water leaking. You might notice water-damaged floors/walls, mold, or water stains. Speaking of mold, make sure you closely examine the HVAC system. If you find mold, keep in mind that HVAC cleaning and repair can get pricey.
“When looking for problems, you’ll want to examine big-ticket items very closely,” Richard Vesole says. “If there are problems with the foundation, support beams, or anything like that, you may want to pass on the home as repairs can get very expensive.”
With big systems, appliances, and other expensive items, you should also pay close attention to their age. Even if there’s no mold in your ducts, if the air conditioner or heating units are twenty years old, they may need to be replaced in the near future. In the meantime, you might pay higher utility bills owing to inefficient appliances.
“A washer, oven, or air conditioner may not be worth much if it’s on its last legs of life,” Richard Vesole points out. “This is true even if the unit seems to be in good shape. If a part breaks, you may not be able to find replacements.”
Paying close attention to the house itself isn’t enough either. Many other factors could impact the property’s value, your quality of life, and more. When buying a home, a holistic perspective is vital.
“Even if you don’t have kids, buying a home in an area with a good school district is smart because it increases property values,” Richard Vesole says. “Also, pay close attention to any zoning law changes, traffic, new construction, and access to amenities, like grocery stores. These factors could impact not just the home’s value but also your quality of life.”