8 Most Important Things to Look At When Purchasing a New Home - tip, new home, buying new house

Picture: Avi Waxman

One of the most significant decisions you may ever make in life will involve the purchase of a home. You’re about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a property, which means you’ll likely want to be entirely sure of your decision before you hand it over.

While location and size are crucial factors to consider, there are many other things to think about when visiting each of your potential dream homes. We’ve included a few of these below that you may like to find out more about before signing on the dotted line.

Heating and Cooling

Regardless of where you live in the United States or elsewhere in the world, heating and air conditioning units from reputable companies like alliedexperts.com are worth identifying in all properties you’re thinking about buying. The last thing you want to do is freeze or overheat as soon as you move in, or potentially spend thousands on new systems if it isn’t necessary.

According to some experts, around half of all heating and cooling systems installed are sized incorrectly for the space they’re controlling the temperature of. When you spot an HVAC unit in a property, research its model and see if it’s functional for the area it’s in.

Don’t be afraid to ask about maintenance and servicing history if that information is available. HVAC units require regular maintenance to remain in excellent condition, but not all homeowners make that a priority.

Roofing

Aside from the foundation, the roof is the next most important feature in a property. It’s what keeps everything within your home dry and protected. However, even with an expert roofing company, it can be one of the most expensive features of a home to replace.

Generally, a tile, copper, or slate roof can last over 50 years, while wood shake roofs often last approximately 30 years, and asphalt shingle/composition roofs around 20 years.

If you’re unsure about the age or condition of a property’s roof, it may be in your best interest to have it inspected. You can then have complete confidence in your offer, should you decide to present one to the current homeowner.

Storage

Storage is one of the last things you tend to look at during an open home, but it can be vital once you move into a property. When you have the opportunity to walk through a home before you buy it, look for cupboards, closets, and rooms you can put to good use for storage.

Linen cupboards are surprisingly lacking in many homes, and closets are sometimes nowhere near big enough for a couple’s clothing in one room. Even checking out storage options in a garage can be worth doing to make sure the home you’re purchasing is going to be suitable for your needs now and into the future.

Power Points

Whenever you look at purchasing a new home, you assume everything is in working order and where you need it to be unless the homeowner or agent has stated otherwise. While changing, adding, or fixing power points is generally not a considerable undertaking, it can be worth thinking about when you walk through your new potential home.

Look at where power points are present in bedrooms or where you think you’d put your TV if you decided to purchase it. If you can, use powerpoint testers to make sure they’re all working. You may even be able to use any non-working power points as an opportunity to negotiate if you decide to make an offer.

Hot Water System

Hot water systems can be expensive to buy, but some can be even more expensive to operate. Before purchasing a new home, look at what hot water system the home has in place and take note of its age, how it works, and what replacement options you have at your disposal.

There are at least five different standard hot water heating systems to find in residential properties, including conventional storage water heaters, heat pump water heaters, tankless, solar, and indirect water heaters.

Each has its pros and cons, but you likely aren’t familiar with all of them, how they function, and what they could cost to operate, maintain, and replace. If you’re unsure what you’re looking at, bring a building inspector or knowledgeable family member or friend with you to view it.

Water Pressure

As uncomfortable as it might be to turn on the shower and taps in a home that’s not yours, checking the water pressure can be crucial. You may be able to gain a sense of it through the showerhead, or by using a gauge.

If you believe there are problems with the water pressure, it may be worth hiring a professional to check it before you place an offer on a property. Sometimes, water pressure in homes can be so high that it destroys appliances and voids their warranties, or so low that it costs a considerable amount of money to bring up to your standards.

Mold and Mildew

Mold generally grows in places that have experienced moisture, such as windows and in bathrooms and kitchens with poor ventilation. However, mold growth can also be a sign of a leak or water damage and can cost thousands of dollars to remedy once it has spread to porous materials like insulation, drywall, fabric, upholstery, and carpet.

Be on the lookout for any signs or odors that may point to mold growth. It may be a case of poor ventilation, but it may also mean your potential dream home has had a leak or may still have one.

If you’re unsure or need peace of mind, consider hiring mold remediation experts who can test for mold and highlight any potential parts of a property that you should worry about. It’s often better to be safe than sorry.

Basement

Many homes have basements, and they can be a convenient place for storage, appliances, and even extra living space. However, every basement is different. Some can be finished or remodeled, while others can be left in their original condition. Look for signs of water damage, water stains, and mold growth. You may also see the value in a radon test during your home inspection to ensure it falls within the parameters established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

A property’s location and size will undoubtedly capture your attention, but it sometimes pays not to forget about those small details that can make or break a house purchase. One minor overlooked feature may cost you money that you didn’t intend to spend.