House-hunting 101: How Do You Know if You’ve Found the One?

person looking at house through a magnifying glass

House-hunting can be a gruesome task. It can take weeks, maybe even months, to find prospective homes with openings that fit your schedule. And after seeing a million houses, there are still more factors to consider before putting down an offer.

The most common deal-breaking factors in house-hunting are accessibility and location, appearance, structural foundation, and affordability. The task to find one house that will tick all those checkboxes seem impossible at first glance.

But you see, all those factors have corresponding solutions that you can take. For instance, if a house has peeling paint, you can redo the paint job. If it doesn’t have enough space, you can tear down the walls, as long as they aren’t load-bearing. You can even take on loans or discuss a good deal with your realtor to deal with the affordability issue.

However, what you can’t immediately fix are structural issues in the house’s foundation. And even if you can fix them up after a while, they may cost you more to replace an entire electrical system or repair damage to the pipework.

You have to be smart when you’re deciding to put an offer down on a house that you fell in love with. Be a responsible adult, and don’t skip out on the inspections that can save you time and money in the long run. Here are a few procedures to get you started:

Electrical System

Before you decide to buy a house, check to see if the previous owner did a good job maintaining their electrical system. Most residential houses need to be checked for damages every five years, and doing so lessens the possibility of having house fires caused by faulty wiring.

If you wanted, you could also have your own electric quality assessment done by your choosing expert. Wirings are subject to loosening every time the electricity is used, that’s why loose wirings are very common. Although if they are left unchecked, they can cause serious problems in the long run.

Pipes and Waterworks

Before you decide to buy a house, check to see if the previous owner did a good job maintaining their plumbing system. Broken pipes and leaking faucets may sign that the plumbing system needs to be replaced or upgraded.

A good pipe system is less prone to breakage that often causes flooding in basements or kitchens. It also involves a functioning drainage system that can protect your yard or lawn. Make sure that you cover these aspects when discussing the topic with your realtor.

house hunting

Structural Foundation

Before you decide to buy a house, check to see if the previous owner did a good job maintaining the house’s structural foundation. Damages to the structure can often cause water damage and leave you vulnerable to pests.

Easily noticeable damages to the foundation can involve cracks in the walls and entryways, leaking or sagging roofs, or sloped floors. Roof damages can also lead to ceiling problems and mold build-up.

Pests

Before you decide to buy a house, check to see if the previous owner did a good job keeping the pests away. No home can be completely rid of pests, but there is a fine line between seeing a few house flies and a rat infestation setting up camp inside your walls while snacking on your wires.

A serious pest problem does not only do damage to your home. It can also pose a danger to your health. You must ask your realtor about possible pest infestations so that you won’t have to worry about it in the future. And while you’re at it, maybe you could ask them if the house’s location has cases of pest infestations too.

There are more preventive measures that you can take or inspections that you can do, but you also have to be smart about it. Taking those matters into your hands may cost you money that you don’t have, so prioritize and only do those you believe are the most important.

If the house you find can check all your boxes as well as the ones above, then you might have just found yourself a place to call home. All the effort you put into house-hunting and researching will be well worth it.

But you also have to remember that proper maintenance of a household isn’t a one-time thing; rather, it’s a routine that you have to do periodically over the course of your stay in that home. Happy house-hunting!

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