Buying a home is an exciting prospect. Especially for first-time buyers, homeownership can be one of the most important decisions of of your life. Before putting that final offer on a property you love, take one last look around your potential new home to be sure of what you’re getting into. Unfortunately, many new home buyers make the mistake of jumping in too quickly when buying a home. By not asking the right questions, or forgetting to check on major systems such as heating and cooling, wells, septic systems, and even roofing, they hurt themselves later with unexpected costs.
If you’re a new buyer excited to become a homeowner, use this checklist to be sure that you’re prepared to buy your new home with confidence and no surprises down the road.
Major and Minor Repairs
Most homes that aren’t brand new will need some sort of repair work done. While something simple like a broken oven or refrigerator is easy enough to fix with a quick Google search like “appliance repair in Honolulu HI,” other things can be much more expensive.
If you think you’re ready to close the deal, make sure to check on bigger items that could also need repair. Roofs, for example, could add up to huge expenses later on if they aren’t in good shape when you buy. Look for cracks, broken or missing shingles and leaks. Spotting these things ahead of time could save you money in the long run.
While it’s easy to walk around a new property imagining patio flowers on that fantastic deck that you’ve always dreamed of, paying attention to possible expenses down the road should be your priority during the buying process. You can take all the time in the world to pretty up the place later. Pay attention to the more important details now.
Heating and Cooling System Upgrades
Many new homeowners don’t realize how much HVAC issues can impact both your wallet and overall quality of life. From problems that increase your utility bills, to issues with air quality and overall energy efficiency, it’s important to make sure that your heating and cooling systems are in good shape from day one. The cost of a new furnace or central air conditioning could be more than you bargained for. By asking about HVAC systems in the home that you’re considering buying ahead of time, you’ll at least have the information you need about recommended repair jobs down the road.
Utility Expenses and Water
The same is true for wells, septic systems and plumbing. When buying a new home, ask about its water systems. A well pump replacement, for example, could be a deal breaker. While touring a home, take a look at faucets, ceilings and under sinks for cracks or leaks. In many cases, you can ask the current homeowner for last minute fixes or have them written into the sale of the home. Something as simple as a leaking faucet could mean a bigger water bill, whereas something like water damage on the bottom floor could indicate bigger plumbing issues that you’ll need addressed early on.
In the end, regardless of whether you’ve already bought your home and are wondering if you got a good deal, or are still looking at properties; by taking the time to look for big and small areas that will need repair, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re getting into. While most trustworthy realtors and sellers will be transparent with their properties, your best bet is to consider paying extra inspection fees and taking that one last walk through the building before signing the final deal. In taking the time to look closely at the property now, you can make an informed decision which you’ll later thank yourself for.