Whether you’re a first time home buyer or a move-up buyer, before buying a house, it’s important to check out all aspects of the new home to prevent costly mistakes in the future. The following list represents issues that have the potential of turning your home ownership dream into a night-mare:
1. Siding – Houses built in the 1980’s & ’90’s are more susceptible to cheap siding which can trap moisture if not properly maintained. Louisiana Pacific had a class action settlement for faulty siding (commonly referred to as LP siding). Many folks who received the settlements just pocketed the money and never replaced the siding.
2. Neighborhood – If the neighborhood has messy or inconsiderate people you might want to look elsewhere. Likewise for other neighborhood characteristics such as bad schools, traffic issues nearby, garbage dumps or planned projects that could disrupt the area.
Click here to see our Five Critical Tips When Evaluating a Neighborhood
3. Homeowners Associations – If you are buying a townhouse or condominium, be extra careful to do your homework. Check to be sure the HOA has adequate reserves to cover future maintenance or repairs; whether they have any planned special assessments; or if any current owners are delinquent with their dues. If the units are priced under $250,000 and the project is not approved for FHA financing, beware. If the project is not eligible for Fannie Mae financing, beware. Also check to see if there is any pending litigation.
4. Water Issues – Find a reputable home inspector to provide a detailed inspection to uncover any water issued from roofs, windows, gutters baking up, foundations, showers and other plumbing leaks. Leaks that are not taken care of promptly often result in mold which can be hidden and very costly to eradicate.
View our post on When Do I Need a Home Inspection
5. Insurance – It’s always a good idea to ask for the seller’s most recent insurance bill to see how much they are paying. If it is out of line, chances are that there were claims filed on the house. Another way to see if there are issues is to order a CLUE Homeseller’s Disclosure Report. Check to be sure the house is not located in a flood zone. If so, flood insurance will be required.
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As always, call our office with any questions! 678-483-3300
Happy House Hunting!