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  • Writer's pictureJoel Guyer

What to Look for When Buying Your Next House

Looking for a new home is an exciting adventure, but it can be loaded with unseen pitfalls. Sit down before even going out to look at a home and make a list of non-negotiable things that a house must have to be a good candidate. If you have a significant other, include them in the creation of the list.


First things first: How much house do you need or want?


The most important aspect of choosing the right size house is that there will be enough room for the entire family to be comfortable. A single person may like a three-bedroom house, but if they find that hidden gem that only has two, it isn’t likely to be a deal-breaker. However, a couple with two kids may feel cramped very quickly in a two-bedroom home. How many bathrooms is the minimum to make you and your family feel comfortable?



Once you have the type, size, and style of the house you desire, then you can begin to go out and find the perfect home. Here are some things to look for when doing a walk-through of your dream home.


Exterior Condition



Look up. It’s easy to forget to look at the roof, and it can be difficult to fully inspect from the ground, but you can usually get a good idea of the condition of the roof by looking up at it. The same goes for siding. Look for wear, cracks, bends, or buckles in siding. The home's foundation can be tricky to determine from the outside, but cracks in the walls inside, ill-fitting doors, or uneven floors are a warning sign that you may be in for big bills trying to fix a foundation issue in the future.


Interior Condition


Inside the house, make sure the walls are in good condition, free of cracks. Pay special attention to the areas where door openings or window frames meet drywall. Look for peeling paint, worn carpets, or cracked floor tiles.


Check any wall tiles, especially in the bathroom or kitchen areas for loose tiles. In some cases, simple wear and tear, or loose tiles are just a matter of age. However, it is good to see what is going on with the home before getting more involved in the negotiations of price and inspecting it. Try to avoid being too critical of things that are easily changeable like drapes. While the right types of shades or draperies can have a huge impact on the efficiency and aesthetics of your new home, it is a personal choice you can make later. Focus on things that can be long-term hazards or expenses.



Don’t stop with the actual structure when checking interior conditions. Check for light switches that aren’t working as well. Make sure kitchen appliances work, and laundry machines are in decent condition if they are included with the purchase. Don’t forget to turn on ceiling fans and see if the heating and air conditioner are in good shape.


Window Condition


Windows are an extremely important part of a home, and if they aren’t in great shape, can cause a lot of damage quickly. Make sure to inspect the molding surrounding the window as well as the glass itself. Also, feel for any weakness in the connection between the wall and the frame of the windows.



Of course, a home inspection will include this, but there’s no use in going through the expense of an inspection if a cursory check reveals serious issues. Try not to focus on window coverings. Many times, a seller will include window drapes or blinds, especially if they were custom created for the windows of the home. Even so, they may not be the style you’d prefer. That’s okay. It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker if the windows are in good shape and the rest of the home meets your needs. You can always get those special plantation shutters when you have the home.



Avoid getting too excited by what seems to be a great deal or perfect layout until you have done a thorough check of the property. Paying close attention during a walk-through will help you take the next steps in home purchasing with confidence.


If you've recently moved or are thinking about moving into a new (or old) house, contact us, and we'll bring samples so you can see just how many great options you have!



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