January 16, 2019

Top Ten Things to Look for in a Home

home buying tipsBuying a home is an exciting time in your life, but it’s important to look at potential homes critically rather than emotionally.  It’s easier said than done, but avoiding an emotional decision can save you plenty of time and money down the road.  Knowing what to look for when you are shown a home for the first time can help prevent surprises at the home inspection and guide you toward purchasing a home that will appeal to your heart as much as to your mind and wallet!

1.  Before you go into the home for the first time, take a look at the roof.  Are there broken, curled, or missing shingles?  While the cost of a new roof can often be negotiated with the seller, it’s good to know ahead of time if this is a concern to be aware of.

2.  Check the home’s foundation.  In addition to looking for cracks in the foundation, be aware of any signs of pests such as termites or carpenter ants.

cracked foundation

3.  Is the location of the home and surrounding yard safe for children and/or pets?  If the home is on a busy road, will you need to invest in a fenced yard to keep children safe or an invisible fence for your dog?

4.  Look at the windows.  Do they look new and well-cared for?  Older windows can be drafty and inefficient, not to mention costly to replace.  When you go into the home, check to make sure the windows open and close easily.

5.  Inside the home, check for signs indicating a plumbing problem.  Turn on faucets to check water pressure and quality.  Look under sinks for water damage or mold.  If you see a potential problem, it may not be a deal breaker but could indicate something to examine more closely during the inspection.gfci-receptacles-00

6.  Take note of any electrical issues such as loose wires or unconnected wires.  Outlets should have three prongs rather than two and include GFCI receptacles.  Fuses indicate an older electrical system in need of an update; look for breakers instead.


7.  How is the heating and cooling?  Is the furnace old and in need of replacing, and is the system sufficient for the size of the home?  If there’s an oil tank, look at where it is located, the age of the tank, and consider any potential costs in updating these features.

8.  Look at the home’s storage options.  Is there a basement or an attic with appropriate storage space?  Ample storage space is always a factor to consider, as adding it later on can be expensive.

9.  Check the home’s insulation.  What type of insulation does the home have, and how thick is it? insulation Over time, improper insulation can lead to costly energy waste.


10.  Look closely at the quality of the kitchen and baths.  These spaces are expensive to renovate, so starting with quality workmanship and good appliances that have been well maintained lets you focus on cosmetic touches rather than major repairs.

By considering these ten important areas of the home, you can find the right house for your family while avoiding nasty surprises and expenses down the road.