Buying a home – especially if it’s your first home – is an exciting time in your life. Walking into a home that meets all your criteria in terms of size and layout can be emotionally overwhelming, and it may even cause you to skip parts of the process that may come back to haunt you. No matter how much you love a home, you should never, ever buy it without first checking these five things.
A home’s roof serves as protection from the elements, and a problem with the roof – no matter how minor it might seem – can easily turn into tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. Before buying a home, make sure you have had the roof inspected by a professional, and be sure that the seller has taken care of any potential negatives that the inspector finds, too.
The Fireplace & Chimney
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) sets some important guidelines regarding chimney maintenance and repair. A fireplace is certainly a wonderful fixture that can provide you and your family with warmth during cold Northeastern winters, but if your fireplace or chimney are in a state of disrepair, they could actually put you in danger. Before you buy, hire a chimney inspector who is certified by the CSIA, and make sure the chimney has been cleaned, as well.
The foundation of the home is by and large one of the most important things you could possibly check. It holds up the home’s entire structure, and a problem could lead to a home that you would be better off having condemned than repairing. As such, be sure that the inspector you hire does a good job looking over your home’s foundation, and if he or she finds an issue, find out if the seller is willing to fix it or negotiate the price of the home down so you can account for the extra expense.
The HVAC System
The HVAC system in a home can range in value from $5000 to $15,000 or more depending on its type, size, and complexity. An HVAC professional can come to the home on a service call to give the entire system a once-over for a fair price. When you call for your appointment, make sure you hire a certified HVAC technician. This will ensure that you get the best possible results. If an issue exists, you should once again ask the seller to resolve it or negotiate the price down so you can have it resolved post-purchase.
If the home you are buying has a basement, it is imperative that you and your inspector take a very close look at several things. First and foremost, there should be no cracks in the basement walls, and there should be no dampness in the area. Water stains, cracks, the scent of mold or mildew, or even the presence of mold or mildew in a basement – whether finished or unfinished – is indicative of a serious issue that could end up costing you a great deal of money and even your health.
Before you buy a home, make sure you check the roof, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, the basement, and even the HVAC systems. These are things that can cause the most trouble for homeowners, so it’s worth your time and trouble to hire the best possible professionals to ensure they are all in good working order.