When looking at a new home, it’s easy to focus on little imperfections and not see the solid foundation behind wild wall colors or décor that’s a real eyesore. At the same time, we can be fooled by very cool interior decorating and overlook some pretty costly structural issues. Here are 5 things you can’t miss checking out when buying a new home:
1. Start with the roof
We all want a good roof under our heads, literally. When buying a new home, you want to make sure that the roof is solid and sturdy. That’s because roof repairs can cost as much as $10,000 or more, and a faulty roof can affect the home’s foundation over time—adding up the costs even more. Although you want to enlist the expertise of a home inspection professional, there are some things you can look for yourself like missing shingles or bulges in the ceiling. Make sure to ask about the materials of the roof and when it was installed, too.
2. Look for signs of water damage
Water damage is nothing to take lightly, especially if you’re buying a home in Florida. Once water takes a hold of a part of a home, it can go on to cause expensive repairs in other areas of the house. Look for flaky drywall, dark or wet spots around the walls and alongside baseboards which can signal leaks, as well as drips or puddles around pipes, sinks or toilets. There are some signs of water damage you can see while others can be invisible to the naked eye, like mold.
3. Don’t mess with mold
Mold is not only a telltale sign that the home you’re considering might have some underlying (and probably quite costly) water damage but is also hazardous to your health. Most home inspections will include a visual spot-check for mold, but signs of the fungus aren’t always visible. While you may be able to see some signs of mold such as discolored rings on ceilings or walls, you may still want to test the property for mold, especially if it’s an older home.
4. Get in the kitchen
Some say that a house that’s perfect expect for the kitchen may not be so perfect after all. It’s arguably one of the most important spaces in a home! Add to that the fact that a kitchen renovation can cost around $25,000, and you’ll want to make sure you’re clear on how much work, if any, your new kitchen will need. A fresh coat of paint and a new backsplash aside, take a look at the condition of the appliances as well as the floors, always looking for any signs of wet spots, mold or structural damage.
5. Open the windows
It’s not just for the natural lighting! Windows that open and close easily are a sure sign that the home’s foundation is in good condition. You’ll also want to make sure the windows shut properly and are airtight, because your utility costs may pay for it otherwise if you do move in.
And while original windows can have their charm, it’s a major plus if the home has code-compliant, impact resistant windows or have approved hurricane shutters installed.
Some homebuyers will cross a home off their list because they don’t like the wall color or layout. As long as the home you’re considering is free of any major issues, you can potentially purchase a more affordable home and take care of the cosmetic fixes while staying within your budget.
At Benworth Capital, we’re here to help make the lending experience easy whenever you find your perfect home. Call us today to learn more about our alternative lending solutions.