If you're a first-time home buyer, you're probably getting a kick out of looking at houses. However, your dream house can turn into a hassle if you don't know what to watch out for. Don't be bedazzled by the superficial beauty of the houses and your own excitement. Instead, look at potential homes with a critical eye.
Consider the Flow
Whether you believe in Feng Shui or not, the flow of a house can affect your enjoyment of it. For example, if outdoor living is important to you, examine outdoor access. French, sliding glass and accordion doors best facilitate moving from inside to outside and back, especially if you'll be carrying items. Additionally, take some time to walk through the house itself in a facsimile of your normal routine. For instance, you don't want to feel like you need to hail a cab to have your morning coffee while dressing. Conversely, if you prefer a leisurely morning routine, the distance between the kitchen and bedroom may not matter.
Evaluate the Storage Space
One of the most common reasons for remodel jobs is to increase storage space. When buying a home anew, save yourself that hassle by evaluating the storage space. Think about how much literal baggage you're bringing to the new home, and consider where you're going to store all of it. It's easy to customize available space for specific needs, such as sporting equipment or specialized appliances. It's much harder to carve out that space to begin with.
Examine the Roof
It's certainly not necessary – or advisable – to climb on the roof to inspect it. However, as Home Insight points out, a properly installed roof should last 20 to 25 years, while repairing the roof is costly. Examine the roof from several outside angles. Look for cracked or curling shingles. Ask the real estate agent what the material is if it's not evident. Materials such as wooden shakers take more maintenance, while slate roofs can outlast the house itself. Additionally, ask to visit the attic, and look for any problems in the ceiling that can be related to the roof. These can include discoloration or buckling.
Focus on Room Structures
Smart home sellers are going to apply some paint before putting their house on the market. This may be simply to spruce up the joint, but it can also be an attempt to mask flaws. Don't be fooled by staging. Instead, focus on the actual structures of the room to spy any issues. Look for loose wires, cracking window frames or even more serious structural issues. Any big cracks should be a giant red flag to buying the house.
Take off your rose-colored glasses and evaluate potential new homes with a critical eye to save time and money in the long run. Click here to learn more about homes for sale in your area.