Buying a new home is always an exciting prospect, especially if it’s your first time doing so. Owning new property can be a real pain though, especially if you have to deal with the constant home maintenance issues. It can be so bad that you might as well build a new home from scratch with all the money you’ve spent buying the property itself and doing renovations on top of that. There are ways you can avoid this though if you buy smart.
We’ve made a short guide for first-time buyers to avoid the crippling costs of home maintenance on their prospective new home.
1. Check the exterior
Any house’s interior can be spruced up with some new wallpaper and a bit of varnish or paint but fixing up the exterior can be a huge problem if you’re not paying much attention. Check for any signs of decay on the sidings or for cracks on the wall. Cracks that are less than a quarter of an inch should be easy to manage, but any more than that should be avoided. Make sure to check if the roof and the moldings need repair as well. Some sellers will attempt to cover up the cracks by mudding and painting over them, so check if the walls have any mismatched coloration to any of them.
2. See if there’s a warranty
A good indicator that you’re getting a good deal is if the house has a warranty. The presence of a home warranty will generally mean the seller is confident that the house will be in good condition for months or even years into the new occupancy. If there are no warranties involved, you can ask the seller if they’re willing to get one. If not, then chances are they didn’t expect the house to last long after you bought it.
3. Double check for water damage
Water damage can be a bit problematic to deal with, especially since it’s the sort of damage that can ruin a new home down to the very foundations. Worst still is the fact that black mold can form over such areas, which is extremely dangerous to breathe. Check the walls behind cabinets, sinks, toilets, and tubs carefully.
4. Beware of false flags
When touring your prospective new house, check if it seems like it’s been sprayed heavily with air fresheners or if the seller is playing music in all of the rooms. Chances are, they’re hiding the fact that the house has either a weird smell to it or the neighborhood isn’t as quiet as they may lead you to believe. Be more vigilant if this is the case. Insist that you tour the house with the music and air conditioning off and watch out for any leaky pipes that may be hiding a strong moldy smell.
While it might be tempting to jump on a deal whenever you’re buying a house, it’ll cause you more issues in the long run if you end up with heavy maintenance costs in the future. If it’s too good to be true, then chances are that it probably is. Be vigilant, and always be on the lookout