Shopping for a new a house can be an exhilarating and stressful time, but a few helpful suggestions you can make yourself an educated buyer and possibly save some money on homeowners insurance in the process. Which saving money on insurance is a good thing because homeowners insurance is typically a bank requirement for most mortgages.
Ten Things to Look for When Buying a House
1. Raise the roof.
Don’t rush to go inside, be sure to check out the roof before crossing the threshold. Do the roof shingles look relatively new or are there “waves” in the roof? If something about the roof catches your eye, (like “Wow look at all those missing shingles.”) there is a strong chance it will cost you.
But a newer roof, not only means fewer problems for you but a lower homeowners insurance rate. And another bonus a roof made of an exceptionally sturdy material is better equipped to protect against wind and hail saving you from a potential claim.
2. Not just a pretty face.
As you strolling around the rooms of your prospective home, be sure to eyeball the structural stuff, things like aging appliances, loose wires. Don’t let the freshly painted walls or upscale decor distract you from the real bones of the home. A foundation will be there long after the pretty paint starts chipping and you want the foundation to be what lasts.
3. How’s the weather?
When you’re purchasing a house, remember: if it looks unsteady or old, it probably is. Heating and cooling systems are extremely expensive to repair and replace, and ineffective units can eat away at your utility bills. You want to know that those systems are up to date and in good repair.
4. What are your hard No’s?
Think about your deal breakers. What are the things like how you want your home to serve you? Do you want a lot of storage space for all your books, or do you need a large backyard for entertaining? Keep the answers in mind when searching for a new home.
It can be wise to buy a home now that may fit your future family or needs. Paying extra for a home with an additional bedroom if you’re planning on kids or guests.
5. Check out the pipes.
After you finish checking the faucets to see that they are in working order poke your head underneath the sink. Examine those pipes for leaks, water damage, and mold.
Mold is not only unsightly and foul-smelling but could lead to severe health problems. If you have a baby, an elderly person, or someone with asthma in the house, you’ll want to be super careful before shacking up with mold.
6. Get a lay of the land.
Be careful not to spend all your time focusing on the structure, examine the surrounding area. Are you an area prone to flooding or wildfires? Do you and your neighbor share a driveway? Are any fences, built and positioned correctly? It’s a lot to take in at once, but when buying a house, you have to consider its surroundings as well.
7. A sniff test is worth it.
Walk in and take a deep breath, smell anything offending? Sewage systems in older homes are sometimes clogged or get damaged by tree roots. If you smell something foul, get it looked immediately, some sewer or plumbing companies can detect any breaks or blockages by sending a camera through the pipes.
Other smells that lead to hidden damage: pet odors, cigarettes, and mildew.
8. Insulation, Insulation, Insulation
Your home should be comfortable no matter the season. Look in the attic, water pipes, and heating ducts to make sure they’re properly insulated. Doing this may reduce heating and cooling costs, keeping you comfy in summer and winter. Investing in double-paned windows may save you money down the road. Plus, they provide an excellent sound barrier from outside noise.
9. Push some buttons.
Literally, find your inner child and touch everything. Turn on every faucet, flip every light switch, open every window and door, flush the toilets, even taste the water. Purchasing a home is a huge investment, and you want to be sure everything works firsthand. Checking everything yourself will allow you to address problem areas and see if there’s a money saving solution.
10. Get a Home Inspection
Let’s be honest; unless you are familiar with all the inner workings of home, there is only so much you will know. That is why it is wise to enlist a professional home inspection company to check that the foundation is solid and the wiring is up to code. Home inspectors may also look for any lead paint and wood-eating pests.
Why would recognizing any and all issues with a home save you money on your homeowner’s insurance? Because insurers take into things like the condition of the house, updates, and functionality of the plumbing and HVAC systems when rating and ultimately deciding if they will cover you. You don’t want to find out after you purchased your home it is uninsurable.
Please contact us today with any questions you may have!