The housing market is a rough one, there is no mistake about that at all. Rising costs and low inventory mean that if you are lucky enough to find your dream home, you could feel a whole load of pressure to flash the cash and put down an offer. But before you do that, you need to take pause. It may be very exciting to find the home that you’ve been searching for, and even more exciting to know that you can actually afford said home. The thing is, that house needs a whole lot of inspecting before you go ahead and take it off the market. Looks can be very deceiving when it comes to buying a house, and even a house that can appear to be in good condition could have some flaws that cannot be ignored. This is the whole idea of curb appeal: the seller wants to you to be sucked in by the fresh flowers and the clean lines in the kitchen. They want you to offer your cash and work out the problems later, because that means they don’t have to be the one to fix them.
It’s easy to ignore the dodgy paint colours and the desperate need for an upgrade for the appliances, as these are minor issues that can be fixed easily. And yet there are other things out there like foundation problems, that could be the true deal breaker of your buying dreams. We’ve put together five of the most common home issues that could be deal breakers for your big move, so make a list and check it twice – Santa-style!
The roof of a home can last you thirty years or even more, if the roof is of excellent condition. The problems lay with installation and poor-quality materials. If the tiles that have been installed are cheap, they will not last as long as they should. Always ask the seller on inspection how old the roof is and get yourself a ladder to inspect the guttering around the edges. It may look beautifully done at the front of the house and yet be smashed and broken at the back, with insufficient drainage. If you would rather, you could pay a professional roofer to take a look for you and incur the cost of that as a matter of health and safety. Always review a home inspection done prior to the property going on the market, and have an independent inspector look at the house for you as well. You may be able to negotiate the price of the house if you have to include the cost of roof repairs.
Climate change and the total unpredictability of the weather means that in times of torrential rain, your new house could be at risk of flooding. You don’t have to live near a body of water to be at risk of flooding, either, and if you buy a home in a high-risk area for flooding, your insurance costs could skyrocket beyond the reach of your wallet. You can seek some advice on the flood boundaries and levels from your local council and also find out the local streets that tend to flood during times of heavy weather. Once you know, you can prepare for it and negotiate a new deal with the seller. Your insurance costs could be a lot higher, so you should factor this in with your initial outlay on the home that you want.
When you look around a new home, run the faucets and showers in the rooms. You should also flush all the toilets. Don’t worry, you won’t look like a crazy person to do this. You’re checking the water pressure and the drainage so that you can tell if the plumbing is up to scratch. Have a look at the water heater in the home as well as where it is located, and bring in an independent plumber to check for cracks in the pipes and sewer lines. Sewer line repairs can be very expensive and if your independent plumber finds faults and leaks, you could have solid grounds to ask for a reduction in the price of the home.
Most people who buy a home have dreams of expanding in the future, but before you buy you need to know whether it is a possibility for your particular house. Zoning restrictions could scupper your plans for renovation later on and if there’s a chance that your planning permission could be rejected, you may change your mind on buying the house at all. Speak to the local authority and municipality to know whether you would be restricted in your efforts for home expansion. There’s nothing worse than planning a whole new room or floor to the home only to have wasted your cash because you’ll get told no. As the renovations would be entirely up to you, it’s better to walk away from the house than try and negotiate a change in the price.
Older houses are notorious for outdated wiring, but this doesn’t have to be the dealbreaker as it’s something to be expected. However, if the wiring hasn’t been updated in decades, this is a big problem. Older homes are popular for aluminium wiring and this isn’t cheap or easy to replace. Check out the fuse box when you view the home and you should get a good idea as to whether it’s in any kind of working order. Rewiring a whole house can cost you into the thousands, so you would have good grounds to ask for a price reduction to accommodate those costs.
Never be afraid to ask questions when you are viewing a property. It’s not rude to assume there could be issues, it’s smart to assume that there would be things that you may have to spend money repairing. Your money is about to pile into a new home, and you should be comfortable with that fact before you do it.