Buying a property can be one of the most thrilling purchases you can make in your life. As soon as you catch a glimpse of that “home for sale” sign in front of a house or apartment you like, images of your life in that place can rush into your head.
But before you start imagining, you must check a few things that will make sure you make the best possible investment.
A real estate expert, like our agents here at Sotheby’s International Realty, can guide you through every step of the way.
But while visiting a property for the first time, here are some tips that you can see for yourself that will not only help you make a smart investment, but will also make your life easier in the long run.
First of all... How can I check out a property?
You can’t just invite yourself inside and start checking stuff out. The best way to inspect a property is by being guided by a real estate expert, which will point out everything you have to know about your desired investment.
Our realtors will gladly show you any home you’re interested in, and give you a full tour. Another way to check out a property you’re interested in is during an Open House. These occur within a fixed schedule, chosen by the owner, usually with the help of a realtor. This will give you a bit more freedom and time to see every aspect of a property.
Now that you can check out your desired property, here are 5 things to look out when buying a property:
1. Watch the surroundings
The very first thing you have to make sure fits your needs comes before you even enter the property. Let’s be real, unless your new home is completely isolated, your new neighbors will take a huge part in your experience living there.
Check out for empty lots nearby, because eventually they will turn into a construction site. You must take into account that sometime in the future there will be noise coming from those empty lots, which will eventually turn into another house, or even a big apartment building. So think about what you’re willing to put up with.
Always scout the neighborhood in search of more than one point of access to the house or condo. Nothing is worse than being stuck in traffic and having no other way of entering your neighborhood.
Lastly, check out for businesses around the neighborhood. Are there any noisy establishments, or really popular places? Be aware of the sound and kind of ambience they will provide, and judge whether you can accept that or not.
2. Garden size & maintenance
If the home you want has a garden, you must be aware of its size, and its care. Ask about the species of plants and trees in the property, and what are their maintenance costs. Grass needs to be regularly trimmed and watered.
Take your time to learn a bit about the different species of flowers, bushes and trees present in the garden. You might learn that some shake off their leaves during winter, or even give fruit.
Also check for ants and mites. Search for ant trails on the soil, or under the bark of trees. Remember that even if everything seems gorgeous and perfect, a garden still counts as a miniature forest for lots of animals.
3. Up to the roof
Good or bad roof maintenance can be the difference between it being your home’s crown, or its worn out straw hat.
First of all, search the roof thoroughly for any visible cracks, missing tiles or corrosion. All those things will translate into repairing, retiling and painting in the near future.
Keep in mind that the material from which the roof is made will determine how much will it cost to maintain it, and how much time will it last until it needs a big change.
Asking this will save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.
4. About doors and windows
Doors and windows are our home’s connection with the outside world. That’s why you should give special attention to the way they can handle nature’s hazards.
Check every glass for cracks or frames that don’t fit as they should. Do this to make sure nothing but light and the beautiful view gets across any window.
When it comes to doors you should always look out for humidity marks at the bottom, which could indicate water filtration when it rains. You can check the state of a wooden door by pushing your fingernail into the wood. If it pushes easily, that could indicate rotten wood from humidity.
5. Nightmare DIYs
With the rise of the DIY (Do It Yourself) trend among home owners and decorators, sloppy maintenance work is becoming more common.
Now, when it comes to DIY, flooring is the most affected part of the house. Always check for unaligned and badly leveled tiles. If you had the luck of visiting the house afted a rainy day, look out for puddles on the floor, where dirty water and even mold will accumulate.
You can also check for unleveled cabinets and shelves. If you don’t communicate about those things, they will become annoyances later on.
Lastly, take a good look at the walls. Even if the property is filled with furniture, it is really hard to hide a sloppy paint hob.
Our final thoughts
First of all, buying a property shouldn’t lead to annoying problems like a bad paint job or an ant infestation.
Don’t be afraid to speak to your realtor about the problems that you might find. They will be more than willing to help you communicate those problems to the actual owner, or recommend a home that better fits your needs.
If you want to know how to make the best home purchase, please talk to our realtors. Our team is equipped with the tools to guide you to the best investment you can make: your dream home.
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