What to Really Look for When You're Shopping for a Home
September 20, 2013
If you’re planning on shopping for a home, you probably already know the basics in terms of what to look for: curb appeal, proximity to services, good schools and a safe neighborhood. And you certainly know what you want in a home: number of bedrooms and bathrooms, types of flooring, size of the yard, and other amenities.
But do you know what you really need look for? Can you tell the difference between good design and a poorly laid out floor plan? Can you spot signs of past water damage? Do you know quality craftsmanship when you see it? Here are a few major areas you should concentrate on when you home shop:
The Home’s Site. Look at the actual site of the home. Is the property easily accessible from the street? Is the home on a hill or does it sit below ground level? Do the windows look directly into the neighbor’s windows? How a home is situated on its property is something that you won’t be able to change.
Heating, Cooling and Insulation. The age and condition of heating and cooling systems in a home can determine whether or not you’ll be in for a lot of out-of-pocket expenses down the road. Older systems can be more expensive to replace and costly to operate. Likewise, proper insulation is vital to ensuring the home is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The Roof and Water Flow. Water can be a big problem in a home. Always check for signs of mold or past water damage. Also, look at how the gutters and downspouts are situated and if the ground slopes away from the base of the house. As for the roof, check to make sure it’s in good shape and properly applied.
The Home’s Foundation. Cracks in ceilings or walls or loose bricks on the outside of the home or in the basement could indicate a problem with the foundation. Fixing a foundation problem can be very expensive, so make sure you have a qualified home inspector look at the property if you have any concerns.
The Quality of Materials/Construction. You can often tell the quality of a home by looking at some of the “finishing” details. Moldings, tile work and hardware are three areas in which quality craftsmanship can be easily seen. If the builder took the time to get the details right, the home itself is likely to be well-constructed overall.
This certainly isn’t an all-inclusive list of possible problem areas, but these are things that you can spot yourself fairly easily. All of these areas—and plenty of others, such as electrical systems, plumbing, etc.—should be reviewed by a professional before you buy.
For more than 25 years, Omega Financial has been serving mortgage clients in Massachusetts. Our brokers have approximately 50 years in the mortgage business. You always will receive fast, courteous, and accurate information. Omega Financial, Inc. is a company duly licensed to operate in Massachusetts as a Mortgage Brokerage. We are located in the Town of Norwood, Massachusetts where we have been operating as Omega Financial Incorporated since 1988. Licensed by the Commissioner of Banks - License No. MB2671