You are excited to purchase a home for the first time, and it is easy to overlook items that may be costly or expensive to repair or maintain. Here are ten areas that often go overlooked, when examining your real estate purchase.
1) Heating System – is it new, old, or in need of significant maintenance? When was the fireplace cleaned last? Is the inside of the chimney in good shape? These are all important questions for you to ask.
2) Landscaping Maintenance – it is wonderful to have a home with plenty of nice plantings; however consider the expense of time involved in trimming large hedges or maintaining flower beds. It may be more than you think at first.
3) Sewer Inspection – Many times this is overlooked, and can be an expensive fix if you don’t know about the problems beforehand.
4) Insulation levels – How is the insulation in the home? Is there any insulation in the ceiling, where a large portion of heat is lost?
5) Hot Water heater Age – Hot water heaters eventually give out; and some sooner than others. You may get five years, or 20 years out of a unit before it eventually dies. You need to know the approximate age, quality and condition of this appliance.
6) Basement Water Issues – In the Northeast, basement water abatement is a common issue. Depending on the issues with each home it can be easy to rectify or it could cost thousands.
7) Sprinker Systems – Does your home have a sprinkler system? Have you verified it is working properly, even in the off-season? (Not in the winter, due to freezing issues). Many times this can be overlooked only to find out it is faulty when the time comes to use it.
8) Snowplowing Regularity – How often are the roads cleared by snowplace alongside your property? This is a good question to ask the neighbors, in case there is an issue.
9) Gas/Water Shutoff locations – You need to know where the shutoffs are for these two utilities. In case of problems, this could save your home from disaster.
10) Radon Testing – In some areas, Radon is a serious problem for your home. It is always a good idea to check into this, to ensure the safety of your family, and for your own peace of mind.