Make a list of you all your must-haves, want-to-haves, and would-love-to-haves. Think about what’s important to you. Are you looking for a great school district? Do some research at greatschools.org and find out where the best schools are.
Search online for homes in your area that are in your price range. Talk to your real estate agent about what matters the most to you. Visit open houses and make appointments for showings. Your home is out there, you just have to find it!
Look for red flags!
It’s important to be informed and be sure your dream home isn’t actually hiding nightmares!
A professional inspection before signing on a home is a given, but did you take a careful look around? You don’t want any unpleasant surprises after you’ve moved in.
Check for the following:
A sturdy roof. Do the shingles look like they’re going to give way in a few years? That can translate into expensive repairs. If you like the house and don’t mind replacing a faulty roof, use it as a negotiating point to get a lower price.
Efficient heating and cooling systems. These can be costly to fix and replace, and inefficient systems can really hike up your utility bills.
Strong structural components. Most sellers will give their house a new coat of paint before showing it to buyers, but don’t be fooled. If the foundation is weak, the best paint job won’t cover it up. Check beneath the surface for strong pipes, wiring, and insulation.
Overall functioning of the home. Don’t be shy; try out everything in your potential new home. Open doors and windows, turn on every faucet, flick each light switch, flush toilets and taste the water. If you find any major problems, you may want to give this house a second thought. If you don’t mind a handful of minor repairs, remember to use these as a negotiating point.