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What to Look for When Buying a House

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Buying a new house is definitely an exciting feeling, even after signing a mortgage agreement. But how do you know if the one you are interested in today will accommodate your lifestyle in the future? There are also other details to keep in mind, such as the current condition of the building materials, electrical wiring, plumbing, appliances, and other fixtures; it is important that you are informed of all issues, updates, and maintenance checks in order to avoid any surprises down the road. Check out these tips on what to look for in buying a house so that you and your family will be satisfied in the long run:

Identify your Priorities

New-Home-What-to-Look-for-in-a-HouseWhen buying a home, many will have the bells and whistles, such as granite countertops, a 2-story garage, a home alarm system, a finished basement, etc. But these can seem like an easy distraction when you are searching for the must-haves, such as 3 bedrooms, ranch style, updated plumbing, etc.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. has years of experience in real estate law and can help you during the transaction process to make sure that your new house covers everything on your list. Although you will want to make sure that the building materials, furnishings, and appliances are in good condition (they don’t have to be brand-new).

Investigate the Details

While these may not be the most exciting to review, they can save you thousands of dollars in the future after purchasing the home. Unless you plan on remodeling or having numerous repairs to the property, you will want to inspect the following list to ensure that they are in good condition:Updated-Appliances-What-to-Look-for-in-a-House

  • Appliances. It is ok to ask the real estate agent how old are each of the appliances. If there is a gas leak behind an old stove or if the washing machine is leaking, they must be fixed before you move in.
  • Roofing. If there is a leak in the roof that you don’t know about, water damage can be a nightmare, depending on how long it has been left untreated. Be sure that it is found and fixed before signing any documents.
  • Inspect the vegetation. How old are the trees? Anything that is not alive will not have any support and can easily blow over onto the house in the event of a large storm. Also, make sure that there are no large roots that can wrap around the underground water line.
  • Sewer system. Especially if you are moving into an older home, the sewer pipes must be in good condition because any backups can create a messy, dangerous, and expensive mess to clean up.

When reviewing the condition of these features, be sure to talk to the inspector about any issues with the home. This way you will be properly informed of its condition as a whole and avoid any surprises after signing the mortgage contract.

Ensure it Matches Your Lifestyle

Especially for first-time homeowners, it can be exciting to think about all of the new amenities you will have, such as more space, a yard, a basement, etc. But these new features will also come with the responsibility of maintenance and updates.

For example, if this new home has a large deck where you can invite your friends and family over for backyard grilling, you should know that it will need to be cleaned of debris and stained to keep it in good condition.What-to-Look-for-in-a-House-Deck

If you have a basement, consider the fact that you will always face the risk of flooding, even if the sump pump is working properly. A flash flood can seep into the foundation faster than the machine can pump it out. Next thing you know, there is a pool in your basement.

Of course, this is not to say that you should not have a house with a deck or basement, rather, just be prepared for the responsibilities of taking proper care of everything on the property.

Find the Best Location

Neighborhood. Nothing is more important than the safety of your family; this should be considered as the most important factor when investigating and researching the neighborhood. Also, be mindful of any vacant lots that can be purchased and go under construction, creating loud noises and disturbing the peace.Neighborhood-What-to-Look-for-in-a-House

If you are moving into a more remote location, make sure that your smartphone receives coverage from the cell towers as it can be frustrating not to have service if the internet is down.

School Districts. If you have a family with kids, make sure to look at the condition of the neighborhood and school districts. Do some research of the schools that your children will be attending for the amount of time you will be living there.

Proximity to Work. Finding a nice home that is close enough to work for you and your spouse can be tough. You will want to talk with them to discuss the distance that each of you will be comfortable with for driving to work. Some families have a working situation in which the partner that works closer to home will pick up the children from daycare while the other faces a longer commute.

Local Businesses. The distance of local stores, restaurants, and other businesses can also affect a purchasing decision. If your kids are old enough to ride bikes to the pool in the summertime, it can be a nice advantage instead of worrying about them being bored at home while you are at work.  

Whether or not the location of the new home is a good fit for a family will ultimately depend on their current situation, such as work, age of the children, income, etc.; it is important to check out the local area as it will significantly impact their future. Make sure to do all of your research and talk to your real estate attorney before signing any documents.

Consider the Difficulties of Re-Selling

This situation of reselling a house is often overlooked by many property owners. If there is something unique that you are planning on adding to your home, such as painting Power Rangers on the siding, consider the difficulty of trying to sell it afterward; the future buyers probably don’t want to have it in their new home.Strange-House-What-to-Look-for-in-a-House

It is crucial to think about any significant features the home currently has before you buy it, such as it is the only house in the neighborhood to have a pool. While it is definitely a luxury, a swimming pool will increase the overall value of the home, which will then supersede those of other houses in the neighborhood. Future buyers can use this against you when debating the price in the transaction process.

Any house that is located at the bottom of a slope or hill should not even be considered for purchase because the foundation will become flooded every time there is a significant amount of rain. During a storm, the water will easily flow down the hill and create a pool around the home.

Contact a Real Estate Attorney for Help

Due to the amount of detail and factors involved during the purchasing process, buying a home to live in for the next few years is a big decision. While it is essential that everything runs smoothly, it is best to have a real estate attorney on your side to oversee the process, review all documents, and guide you to make the best decisions for you and your family.

The attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. have years of experience in the real estate industry and will help you during the purchasing process to make it as cost-effective as possible. They will ensure that your needs are being met both physically and financially while establishing a strong partnership that is based on trust and respect. Overall, we can provide valuable assistance throughout the real estate transaction process, helping to avoid potential legal issues and protect our client’s interests.

Call Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at 708.425.9530

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