13 Essential Things to Look for in a New House
Moving to a new place is exciting till you settle in, and two days later, you notice that several essential things are missing or damaged. That is why you need to check for several things before settling for a place. Some things to look for in a new house include:
Check the type of heating and cooling system installed in the new house. HVAC systems work differently, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Inspect the kind of heating system in the house, whether it is a boiler, a furnace, or a heat pump and what source of energy it uses. It could be gas, electricity, or a different system altogether. If you are moving into an older home, most likely, they have a boiler or radiator system. Also, examine the cooling system type, whether it is a central air conditioning system or a room air conditioner. The heating and cooling system should be something you are comfortable with within the house. Should you feel you want to change it, you will need an air conditioning service to install a different system. Note that installing an HVAC system can be costly. Therefore, you will have to set some money aside for that project.
Good Roof Structure
A good roof structure is one of the things to look for in a house before settling in. Walk around the house, checking the structure of the roof for any possible damages. Look for rusted flashing, moss, dirt, damaged and missing shingles, or anything else that alarms you. You can also ask how old the roof is. An older roof should not turn you off since there are people who maintain their roofs very well. However, it will give you an idea of how long you can expect the roof to last, depending on the roofing material. Roofs are critical to both the interior and exterior of a home. It protects you from nature’s elements like rain and also gives your home an appealing look. If you happen to notice a problem with your roofing, discuss with the realtor your concerns. Ask them to fix the issues or give you a discount because you will have to spend money fixing them.
Functioning Gas Lines
Before you move into that dream house, check whether the gas lines are working. To see whether the lines are functional, you can turn on the stove and see if it works. If you plan to have multiple gas appliances, then ensure multiple lines are running through the house. If the gas lines are not sufficient, you will not properly power all your appliances like the stove or water heater. Another thing to check is whether there is a leakage from the gas lines. During a hot season, gas usually expands, possibly cracking the pipes. During winter, the cold can cause the lines to rust or corrode. If you notice any rust or cracked spot, switch off the gas from the meter for safety. Make a note to call a plumber or ask the realtor to have that checked out before moving in.
A good driveway is one of the things to look for in a new house before moving in. The foundation should be strong enough to avoid cracking or crumbling in the future. Check whether it has been made using proper materials that will not wear and tear in a short time. Most homeowners go for asphalt driveway paving because it looks good and it is also durable. Check on the drainage, too, and whether it is sufficient. A good drainage system drains water away from the pavement. That means the driveway should have a slope of some sort so that water can run to the sides rather than collecting on top. If you notice any cracks and potholes, ensure they are sealed before you move in. Note that you will need to maintain the driveway once you move in if you want it to last you a long time. That means regularly sweeping debris and power washing and also repairing any cracks that occur.
Before you move in, check on those windows and make sure you can easily open them. This is important, especially in ensuring safety in case there is a fire in the house. The windows’ framing should be symmetrical with the house, meaning they don’t appear as if they are popping out. If the glasses have cracks or stress fractures, then ensure they are replaced before you move in. Check that the glasses are correctly fixed, fitting well into a frame to avoid the danger of them breaking with time. Windows needs to have functional drip caps that secure your home from the inside and prevent any leakage. Ensure that all the windows have drip caps that operate easily. If you want to lower your energy bills, ensure the house has energy efficient windows. You can also choose to replace the windows and get double or triple pane windows to keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer.
Flooring is among the essential things to look for in a new house before settling in. There are different types of flooring to choose from, but most people prefer hardwood flooring. It is durable and can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance. Sweeping and vacuuming regularly plus occasionally cleaning with a wood floor cleaner will do the trick. It also has an appealing look that works with almost all styles of home decoration. Most contractors recommend them because they come in several types of wood like oak, walnut, and cherry and can be stained or sanded to suit different tastes. If you go for a softer wood, it is susceptible to scratch and blemish, especially if you have kids or pets around. It can also be noisy when you walk on it, but that can be solved with a good floor rug.
A waterproofed house is critical in keeping your house dry. You can tell whether a house has been waterproofed by looking at the ceiling, whether there are water damage stains. Open all the taps, faucets, and showers, then check under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and see if water is leaking. Check the basement and the garage too, if you notice a sump pump, then know the areas flood occasionally. Outside, look for standing water, watermarks on the foundation, and French drains. Those are issues that can lead to problems in the future. The house should have waterproofing systems installed either inside or outside, depending on the house’s structure. If there are no waterproofing measures, talk to the realtor or homeowner about having them installed before you move in.
Well-Manicured Outdoor Space
A well-maintained outdoor space is one of the things to look for in a new house. You have to consider whether you like what is there already or have to do your landscaping and how much it will cost you. Consider the kind of features that you want in your backyard. Are you looking for some human-made features like a pond or a stream, or are you more into gardening? When it comes to the patio, consider different weather conditions. In case you are planning to have seats where you can relax, they should have a shade to protect them from harsh climatic conditions. If you love hosting guests, check whether there is enough space on the back for an outdoor kitchen. If you plan to have a grill or a pizza oven out there, ensure the space is big enough to accommodate those appliances.
Opportunities for Extra Space
If you plan to have a home office or a basement family room, then one of the things to look for in a new house is whether there is extra space that you can use. You will usually find that extra space either in the attic or basement. There are many ways you can transform an attic into a functional space. If you intend to use it as an extra bedroom or a playroom for the kids, ensure that the space is big enough to accommodate that need. Take a peek at the attic and check if anything is damaged and whether the roof structure is in good shape. It should also have a proper ventilation and insulation system.
Check the basement whether it is finished or you will have to renovate it. Whether you plan to use the basement for a game room or a home gym, check whether there are any water damages or any odd smells and mold growth. Also, check whether there are enough lighting an
d an accessible window that you can use to leave in case of an emergency.
If your household has more than one car, then you will need a spacious garage. This is one thing to look for in a new house, especially if you plan to use the garage for another purpose than parking. Check that the garage door works well and it is in good shape. If you also plan to have a workshop there, you will need your tools and equipment. If you plan on working on your car from time to time, then ceilings have to be high enough when you use car lifts. Ensure that the garage is well ventilated not to trap car fumes in the garage. The garage should be made so that you can easily maintain it lest it gives you further costs in the future.
One of the vital things to look for in a new house is the living room. When you are house hunting, you know how you want your living room to look like and the amount of furniture you want to put there. The design and layout should be able to suit your needs. Consider the furniture you already have and whether it blends with the style of the room. Ensure the electrical outlets are located in strategic positions if you are planning on having a TV or a home office there.
One thing to look for in a new house is how the bathrooms look like and whether everything is in good shape. Start by flushing the toilets and turning the showers and the faucets. This is important in checking whether they are in perfect working conditions and adequate water pressure. You do not want to call a plumber the second week after you have moved. Ensure the fan works, then check under the sinks whether there is any leakage. Also, you should find the design appealing to want to move into that house. Some bathrooms come with glass doors, while others have a shower curtain, so find something that suits your taste. Bathroom renovations are costly, and if you are not careful, you may find you are dealing with extra costs you hadn’t anticipated for.
Ensure the bedrooms are suitable for the entire family. If you have small kids, then you will want the main bedroom to be on the same floor as the kids’ bedroom. If you intend to use one bedroom as a home office, then you will want it to be located further from the kitchen and living room since they are the busiest rooms. Check on the size and the number of the bedrooms and whether they can fit your family’s needs. Natural light coming into the bedroom is also important. You do not want to deal with additional electricity bills because the bedrooms do not receive enough natural lighting during the day.
When you already know the things to look for in a new house, it makes the process of finding one very easy. You will also know areas that you are willing to compromise and how to work around them. The decision is yours whether any faults you run into are an opportunity to negotiate for a better deal for the new house or a deal-breaker.