Buying A Home? 5 Things To Look At And Talk To Your Agent About

by Guest Author on November 6, 2013

When your shopping for a new home, there are many things that you will encounter. It is a good idea to have a list of requirements on hand when you meet with your real estate agent to discuss your needs and requirements. Every potential buyer has a different list of priorities and you can save yourself and your agent a significant amount of time by discussing the things that will attract you to a potential home. Beyond those requirement, here are 5 other things to look for in the home, or ask your real estate agent about, before you decide to buy.

1. Heating System

Ask questions about the heating system in every home you visit. How old is the furnace? What is the heat source and what are average heating bills for the home? You should make a note of the installation date of the furnace and if possible, how frequently the furnace has been maintained by a professional. Have there been heating problems in the past? If so, how have they been addressed?

2. Insulation

Whenever possible, make a note of signs that the home is or is not properly insulated. If you can get into the attic to inspect the insulation, notice whether there are bare spots that require new insulation and the quality of the material currently in place. This is something that a home inspector will also take note of and if you are more comfortable, leave it to an expert to advise you accordingly. If the homeowner has had new insulation installed, ask to see the records in order to make sure the material is quality and effective against the elements. You can also check the basement of a home to determine if exposed pipes are well insulated.

3. Dryness in the Home

Be very aware of any potential signs of water coming into the home. Leaks in the basement or attic are relatively easy to find, as are any signs of mold or mildew within the home. It is important to make sure that the homeowner has addressed any water problems prior to listing a home for sale. A home inspector will be able to locate current and potential problems, so be careful to inspect any reports that might already be available and don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent to follow up on any of these items as they should be disclosed.

4. Plumbing System

If possible, run water in every sink or tub within the home. Flush the toilets and make a note of any slow drains that you notice. Plumbing repairs can be costly and it is a good idea to know ahead of time what you are willing to fix and what you might require the seller to address prior to the purchase of a home.

5. Home Security

Check to make sure that the windows and doors are in good condition and that it is possible to lock each one correctly. Also, ask if there is a home security system and when it was installed. If the homeowner has a current security system, ask your real estate agent to demonstrate it for you. There are many quality security companies that can assist you in learning about the different types of systems available. Make sure to research home security, especially when you are considering a move to an unfamiliar neighborhood.

These five tips can help you with your home search, but are not the only things you need to consider.  It’s important to speak openly with your real estate agent about any concerns you might have about the home.  As well, a home inspector should be hired before any of the final paperwork goes through.  These items are just quick things you might notice, but an inspector will help identify any of the deep down issues that a home might have.

Article and insights provided by Brionna Kennedy.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bob Gordon November 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm

These are all important, but ihmo, perhaps best to be concerned with at Inspection. I think being overly concerned with an HVAC system or insulation while trying to see if you “fall in love with a home,” is risky. After all, buying a home is very emotional.


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