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For many people, buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions they will make in their lifetime. It’s understandable that you want to get the most for your dollar and avoid costly problems. An experienced REALTOR® can help you identify potential problems on the front end, and here are a few major items to keep an eye on throughout your home buying journey.
If you find your dream home, take the time to examine surrounding property values. If the home you seek to buy is priced significantly higher than others in the area, it’s important to consider why. Has the home been updated or remodeled? Is it larger than some of the surrounding homes or on a larger piece of land? It is important to understand the reasoning behind the price before you buy. Should you choose to sell that same home later, you may ultimately lose money if you don’t maintain the features that made it worth its current value, particularly if nearby property values remain the same.
Some homeowners prefer not to own the most expensive home in the neighborhood. And, if you are considering making such a purchase, you may want to ask yourself if you should consider other neighborhoods where the homes are in the higher price range.
Alternatively, if the house is priced significantly lower than other properties in the area, there may be underlying issues of which you need to be aware. It could be as simple as a seller who needs to move quickly, but it’s always a good idea to do your homework.
In either case, a professional home inspection can help you gain a better understanding of your potential home’s value and condition. And there may be additional inspections that you may want to do to have a thorough understanding of the home.
Finally, take note of other houses for sale in the area. If many of them have suddenly entered the market, find out why. Maybe there’s major construction planned in the area. It may not deter you from buying the home, but it’s always better to be aware upfront.
When you buy a home, it’s usually an important idea to get the home inspected as part of the due diligence process before you close. A professional home inspection will provide you with a wealth of information about your potential new home, including its electrical system. However, when viewing the home for the first time, take the time to examine it carefully and note anything that may be cause for concern.
Standards for various components and systems in homes have changed and evolved through the decades. And, as the products and practices have changed, so have the building codes which govern new construction. Ultimately the safety of the residents in the home is the primary purpose of building codes.
When selling a home, the owner is not required to bring the code up to the current standards. However, there are legal and ethical requirements for the home to be safe for the new owner.
Without question, older homes may have character and charm very different than new construction. And the desire to enjoy that character and charm may overshadow some of the conditions which are an inherent part.
So when viewing homes, consideration should be given to the age of the components and the possible impact on function and safety. Of special interest should be the electrical, plumbing, and heating/air conditioning systems. So, depending on the age of the home and the various components, you may want to have specialized inspections conducted by professionals in those specific trades.
When it comes to home buying, our noses can tell us quite a bit about what’s going on. It’s common for sellers who are showing homes to light candles, plug in air-fresheners, or turn on oil diffusers. Everyone wants their home to smell nice and for others to sense the freshness of their potential new abode. But in some cases, strongly scented homes can be covering up odors caused by problems.
If you notice an unusual number of plug-ins or scent diffusers attached to locations like air returns, this could be a red flag. The seller could be covering up serious damage caused by pets, pests, mold, plumbing, or a variety of other problems. Should you decide to proceed with a home that matches this description, make sure you bring it to the attention of the inspector. If you’re truly worried, hire a professional such as a mold-inspector. When buying a home, knowledge is power, and if there’s something that needs special attention, that can be worked out when you and your REALTOR® go to the negotiating table.
They say that windows are the eyes of the home, and like your eyes, they can tell you a lot about a property. Windows require periodic routine maintenance, such as cleaning and painting. The first red flag is an easy one to test: Do they open? Opening a window shouldn’t be a full-body workout. Windows that are painted or swollen shut may inhibit a resident from escaping in the event of a fire. So, typically inspectors suggest that there be at least one operable window in each bedroom. Windows are also helpful when airing out a room.
Poorly maintained windows can also result in increased energy expense bills. If they’re not properly sealed. You may want to ask for a 12-month utility history. This will help you gauge the quality of the windows and the insulation in the walls and attic.
When you’re buying a house, you’re buying the whole house, not just a couple of the rooms. Make sure that you get access to all of the rooms, including closets, attics, and basements. If there are detached buildings (such as garages and sheds) on a property you should have access to view them also. Pictures can hide serious problems or defects, so in-person tours of the entire property are best
When buying a home, ensure that you (and your inspector) have seen all of it to avoid a nasty surprise after the keys are in your hands.
Our experienced agents have been serving the greater Memphis area since 1868. If you ever have any questions or doubts about a property that you’re interested in purchasing, our REALTORS® can help guide you through that process. We do our best to protect the interests of each and every client and have helped thousands of buyers find their dream homes. To learn more, reach out today.