There is so much to consider when you are house hunting. Of course, there are the things that need to be taken into consideration about the physical location—schools, commutes to the office and the size of the home and lot. There are aesthetic considerations to make both inside and out. You also have to consider the age of the home, the neighbors, if that roof is any good…
The list could go on and on, leaving you feeling completely overwhelmed when you do view a home. Don’t forget the task at hand, though: finding the home of your dreams.
You can’t skip taking note of all the things on your long list, but you can take the stress out of it. A little research ahead of time can eliminate a good number of questions, as can prioritizing what you need to know right away versus what can wait until you are further along in the home-buying process.
While you work through your list and cross off the things that can be googled and the things that can be investigated another time, consider your non-negotiables. Location and size are certainly candidates for your must-haves, but make sure you also include structural, electrical and plumbing issues on that list.
These may not be things you can physically see on a walk-through, but they are things you need to ask about and be prepared to respond to when the home inspection is complete. Getting an understanding of what to look for and how to request repairs later can help make the buying process feel much smoother.
Catching Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues are something that can hide from homeowners for years, which means even if you ask, they may not be aware of a problem. You can take a few steps to check for indications that things might not be great yourself, though.
Turn on all the faucets as you walk through a home and take note of the way each one works. Pressure should be consistent in every room, and you shouldn’t hear any drips or see slow drainage. Flush the toilets, too, and check for drips around them when you do. Even if you don’t see water droplets, feel the floor around the toilets for soft spots or discoloration. These are all indicators that there either is an active leak or there has been one in the past.
Don’t forget to consider any appliances that include a water feature as you view the home. Even if the appliances aren’t going to be part of the package, look around the base of refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines for signs of a water leak. Drips, soft spots in the floor, musty odors or water stains should all be concerning.
Asking for Repairs After an Inspection
When you are strongly considering purchasing a home, you should want to get into every nook and cranny so that you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Even if you are able to “kick the tires” thoroughly, a professional inspection is the best way to ensure the home you are buying has good bones.
Once you have fallen in love with a home, it can be hard to challenge the sellers and risk not being able to close on your dreams. However, if there is a major issue that was discovered in the inspection, you should ask for assistance with repairs. This might mean the seller invests in a repair that makes the issue more acceptable, or it could mean they lower the sale price in order to compensate for the work you will need to have done.
If there is a repair needed and you have requested the seller’s assistance with it, make sure to stay involved as it is repaired or research the price your purchase should be lowered in order to ensure you will be able to take care of the issue. The more you can stay involved in the process, the fewer surprises you will encounter once you are living in the home.
Don’t let your home-purchasing process be a stressful one. Create your list of questions, prioritize it and follow up on the most important items. You will be relaxing in the home of your dreams before you know it.
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