Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s an exciting phase of life, and you may easily get carried away by emotions. However, owning a home is a huge investment, so you must make a sound decision. Ultimately, every house you encounter will have pros and cons; you’ll have to weigh your options and decide what you can’t do without, what isn’t as important, and what you are ready to compromise. Therefore, take your time to explore real estate listings and use the following essential tips as a guide.
1. Bathroom Condition
A bathroom is arguably one of the most essential rooms in a home. It’s a place of solitude where you decompress after a long and stressful day. It is also the room where most of your days, if not all, begin. Therefore, when you start to explore real estate listings, the condition of the bathroom is an important factor to consider.
The last thing you want is to have unwelcome surprises after you move into your new home. With the seller’s approval, flush the toilet and turn on the faucets and shower to assess if they are in good working condition. It would also be helpful to check the ceiling, bathroom cabinet fixtures, walls, and floors for signs of water damage. If a house has several bathrooms, ensure you walk through all of them and watch for mold.
Lastly, consider your needs. What is the bathroom’s current condition, and how many renovations must you make? A bathroom can be in good condition but not in line with your style. So, how much are you willing to spend on renovating a bathroom?
2. Leaky Pipes
Another essential tip to consider as you explore real estate listings is plumbing. The plumbing system within a home is vital to ensuring you have access to a clean water supply and that waste water is disposed of properly. Therefore, before sealing the deal on the house, you should hire a qualified contractor to inspect the system and determine its condition.
One of the biggest plumbing issues that could be uncovered is leaky pipes. These are hard to spot since they are usually hidden in the walls and other locations within the home. However, if you hire a seasoned plumber, different signs could help them determine if a house has leaky pipes or not.
An example of a sign that your potential new house has leaky pipes is cracks in the foundation. Not to conclude that all cracks indicate a water leak, but some do. You may also notice bubbling on the floors, which could signify the same dilemma. Should you decide to proceed and close the deal on such a house, ensure you have a budget that allows you to hire a residential plumbing service.
3. Outdoor Amenities
Different outdoor amenities appeal to different home buyers, so what are the must-have amenities in your new home? According to the National Association of Realtors, most homebuyers hire realtors to help them get the right home. Many quarks are posing as professionals in the real estate industry. However, with due diligence, you can get a qualified contractor to show you listings that align with your preferences.
Some outdoor amenities to consider as you explore real estate listings include patios and decks. Typically, these spots within a home extend the livable space and offer a great entertainment spot. Therefore, if you are fond of hosting parties in your house, would like to start, or are just looking for an outdoor sitting area to relax and unwind with your family, you may want to ensure your new home is fitted with such amenities.
Another outdoor amenity that has stood the test of time and is an important consideration for families with young children is a play area. According to Oxford Home Schooling, 56% of children spend more time on technology than outside. If you have young children and want them to have space to have fun away from the technology, you should ensure your new house features a play area.
4. Kitchen Space
The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where you spend most of your time cooking and sharing hearty meals with the rest of your family. Unfortunately, it is a high-risk area prone to defects since it is used regularly. As you explore real estate listings, you should ensure you assess the condition of the kitchen before you decide to start the payment process.
A defective kitchen affects not only impacts safety but also efficiency. Therefore, in addition to ensuring that all appliances are pristine, you should consider the general kitchen layout. Your kitchen likely gets the most traffic out of all the rooms in your home. For this reason. all appliances should be intentionally positioned in areas that allow easy movement as you cook and make memories. If your quest for your dream home is over and you finally decide to seal the deal, you may want to hire countertop contractors to install countertops that help to make your kitchen more functional by creating more working spaces.
5. Wall Space
The walls of a house are significant. Not only do they offer privacy and security within the home, but they also play a vital role in setting the tone for the interior design of your home. The overall construction of a house can greatly influence how you decorate the walls. Different homes have different wall treatments ranging from tiles, wallpapers, wood, bricks, and plaster. As you explore real estate listings, you must choose a house that aligns with your desired aesthetics and allows you to decorate and customize the walls.
If you would like your home to have a rustic feel, the ideal wall treatment is exposed brick or stone, which can be left bare, or you can choose to customize by painting the walls with your desired theme colors. Wood is another wall treatment available in different shapes, sizes, and designs. Regardless, you can always personalize your walls by putting up wall art and personal memorial portraits.
6. Mold Presence
According to Green Orchard Group, mold inspections are not a requirement when selling a home. In fact, most sellers are unwilling to disclose mold’s presence in a home. Their aim is to close the deal within the shortest time possible.
Mold is a fungus that grows in moist and damp areas, and unfortunately, it is not always easy to detect. No one wants to invest in a house with mold. Therefore, as you explore real estate listings, hiring a contractor to inspect the house for mold is important. As much as it may appear unnecessary, a pre-purchase mold inspection will help you avoid the stress of dealing with the menace and save you thousands of dollars.
As harmless as it may appear, mold releases allergens into the atmosphere that can cause allergic reactions and other severe health complications like asthma when inhaled. So, if you decide to purchase a house, it is important to hire a professional for mold testing and removal services. It’s important to note that removing mold from a house is easier and cheaper before you move in.
7. Neighborhood Features
Location! Location! Location! This mantra is commonly used in the real estate market and with good reason. People decide to buy houses because they like them but also because of the neighborhood. Typically, buyers want to own homes in locations where they have easy access to different essential amenities and neighborhood features. If, for example, you are big on convenience, you may want to buy a home in a neighborhood close to where you run most of your errands; it could be a department store, a pharmacy, or a grocery store.
Dog parks and natural playgrounds are important to consider as you explore real estate listings. If you own a dog, every once in a while, you may want to take it out for a walk. Therefore, you should look for a house with a dog park within walking distance. If you have young ones or plan on having kids soon, you may want a neighborhood with a play area where your kids can play and mingle with other neighborhood children.
A school district is another important consideration when looking for where to live. One of the benefits of living near a school is your kids get to exercise as they walk every day to school, and you also get to save on fuel. Living near a school also increases the value of your home. If you decide to sell your house in the future, the easy access to a school will be one of the strongest selling points.
8. Neighborhood Safety
When you buy a home, you want to ensure the neighborhood is safe. Determining how safe a neighborhood is will require you to do more than drive through different blocks. Even the seemingly calm and peaceful neighborhoods can be dangerous. Moving into a neighborhood without due diligence may put you and your entire family in harm’s way.
The last thing you want is to move into a neighborhood where you’ll be forced to live in fear. Therefore, as you explore real estate listings, it is important to look into ways to determine if an area is safe. For example, you can look into an area’s criminal statistics; don’t be alarmed if you can’t find a crime-free neighborhood. Studies show that most areas experience some level of criminal activity. However, if you consult with different local criminal defense attorneys and notice that the area is notoriously known for high levels of criminal activity, there is a need to be alarmed.
9. Internet Access
Previously, access to the Internet was mainly available in major cities and suburban areas. However, since the pandemic, the entire world, including rural areas, has been exposed to the need for internet access in the home. Having Internet in the home will allow you to work remotely when you don’t feel like going to the office. It will allow your kids to attend classes without being physically present in a classroom. It will also serve as entertainment for the entire family.
Therefore, as you explore real estate listings, internet access is one of the most important IT infrastructure solutions to cross off your checklist. In case you happen to like a house that doesn’t have internet access, you can use that to negotiate for a better deal. However, once you move in, you may want to install Internet to raise the home’s value should you want to resell and get a better deal.
10. House History
It is a known fact that sellers don’t always disclose all the information. If only the walls could talk; unfortunately, they don’t, and you don’t want them to talk either. Your potential home could have underlying issues if you hear any sound from the walls. You must conduct extensive research when you want to know the true history of a house you plan to buy.
Researching the history of a home you are considering buying will help you connect with the house. It’ll help you uncover potential damages like structural alterations or previous damages. This way, you can make the necessary repairs and upgrades to ensure the house is safe.
If you want a house with one of the best deals, consider buying a foreclosed home. However, it is important to know that buying a house at an auction doesn’t always mean getting a good deal. Some of these foreclosed houses were neglected by previous owners. They may require you to do major repairs to make them habitable. Therefore, before buying such a house, seek counsel from foreclosure lawyers to know exactly what you are signing up for and prepare accordingly.
Choosing the right home for you and your family isn’t a one-shoe-fit-all process. Different buyers have different needs and requirements. Note all your absolute must-haves in a book or on your phone, and look through several listings to get your ideal home. The process can be challenging, so having a trusted realtor help you is always a good idea. Remember, you’re spending your hard-earned money, so do everything to ensure you get your money’s worth.