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  • Writer's pictureJoel Guyer

A Basic Checklist for Buying a New Home

Buying a new home is exciting and daunting all at once. There are many aspects to consider for your family's future when you buy a home, from amenities and location to school districts and resale value.

One of the most important steps in buying a house is ensuring that it meets basic standards in terms of safety and functionality. Here's a quick checklist to get you started.

1. Check the Foundation

Make sure there are no cracks in the foundation. Look for them along the bottom of exterior walls, near windows and doors, and around other potential problem areas such as pipes or electrical outlets. If you see any cracks, make a note to have them checked out by a professional before buying the home. These can potentially indicate issues with settling or shifting in the ground underneath.

2. Check the Window Treatments

Window treatments can help you control the temperature and lighting of your home. If the home has older type treatments or no treatments at all, consider building in the price of replacing them into your offer. Additionally, make sure the windows and sliding glass doors open and close easily.

3. Check for Peeling Paint

Peeling paint can indicate moisture issues or a crack in an exterior wall that may allow water into the house. Don't hesitate to have a professional come in and take a look. If you do see moisture issues, it's recommended that you have the plumbing checked out before making an offer on your home.

4. Check for Cracks or Spalling in Driveways and Walkways

Cracks or spalling in walkways and driveways can indicate movement of the ground underneath and should be checked out by a professional before purchasing the property.

5. Check Electricity, Lighting, and Outlets throughout the House

Make sure that there are no exposed wires or faulty wiring in the fuses or outlets. Also, make notes on how many electrical outlets are in each room of your prospective home; you might want to consider adding more later. Finally, lighting is an important feature in every room, so make sure there are adequate light fixtures to keep the house well lit.

6. Check the Plumbing throughout the House

Plumbing issues can be an unseen nightmare. Try to check the plumbing fixtures in every room and ensure that they are in working order and that no water is leaking. Make notes of anything that doesn't look right and have a plumber check the home before making an offer.

7. Check for Pests such as Termites

Termite damage can be costly to repair and may indicate structural problems with the house. If you see any evidence of termites, make sure to have the home professionally treated before buying.

8. Check the Flooring throughout the House

Floors take a lot of abuse and may need to be replaced in some areas. Do an initial walk-through and make notes of any potential issues with flooring materials such as carpet, tile, or linoleum. You can always renegotiate your offer if you find significant problems beyond your budget to fix them.

Final Word on Buying a New Home

Your checklist will vary based on the type and age of your prospective home, but remember this primary rule: don't hesitate to ask questions! The more information you have about a prospective property, the better. And if you aren't sure what something is or how it works, opt for getting advice from trusted professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and realtors.

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