It is a great time to buy a house. Interest rates are at historic lows, so you can get a lot for your money. Whether you are shopping for your first house or your fifth house, it’s good to be prepared with a list of items to look for before you head into homes. Having your priorities outlined and also knowing what you can expect to see in your price range will help house hunting to go much more smoothly. Use these guidelines for what you should look for when house hunting.
For many people, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. The kitchen can really make or break the home. Remodeling a kitchen can be very expensive. The cost for even a minor kitchen remodel can be more than $20,000, with major remodels soaring over $60,000. So unless you want to sink a lot of money into customizing the perfect kitchen, it is wise to choose a home that has a kitchen that is in good kitchen and that you will feel comfortable working in for many years. In particular, you should pay close attention to the cabinets, counter tops, flooring, and appliances. These are all items that tend to be pretty expensive to replace. When it comes to cabinets, look for solid wood boxes rather than laminate. The best counter top choices are durable solid surfaces, like granite or marble. Hardwood or tile floors are the best choices for longevity and easy clean up in the kitchen, although cork is becoming increasingly popular.
Bathrooms are another important room to pay attention to, because, like kitchens, they are expensive to remodel. Fixtures likes tubs, showers, and sinks can be pricey to replace, so look for a bathroom that is updated. Plumbing problems in the bathroom can be expensive and extremely inconvenient, so pay attention to any signs of water leaks. The number of bathrooms is an important consideration, as well. If you can afford it, try to choose a home that has enough bathrooms to suit the size of your family. Nothing gets a day off to a bad start like fighting over bathroom time when you are trying to get ready for work.
The roof is another thing that you want to make sure is in good condition before you purchase a home. Replacing a roof is a big, expensive project, so it is worth taking a close look. Climb into the attic to examine the roof from the inside; look for light coming through and signs of water on the plywood or insulation.
Look for a fairly new, energy-efficient HVAC system. Even if an older HVAC system is still functioning properly, it may not be as energy-efficient as newer models, which can cost you a lot on your utility bills. If a furnace is more than 15 years old, it will need to be replaced soon. An air conditioning unit typically lasts about 10 years.
Check the basement for signs that water has crept in. Look for water marks or mold on the walls. Make sure that there is a functioning sump pump so that the basement stays dry.
Pay attention to these important items when you are searching for a home. Once the home passes your initial test, have a home inspector take a closer look so that you don’t get any unwanted surprises down the line.
When you are ready to look for a home, contact Barrie and Area Real Estate. We can help you find your dream home.