House Hunt – What to Look for in a New Home This Spring

You do not have to be an expert in home repair to save yourself from spending thousands of additional dollars after purchasing a new home. Listed below are nine big dollar items to check before you even move into a new place. Being aware of these issues beforehand avoids shelling out unexpected money for repairs and can even be a negotiating tool that your agent can use for your advantage.

Three Tips for Deciding How Much House You Can Afford

Kitchen

When looking for a new home to live in the kitchen is often a deal breaker for many people as it can be either not the right style or just plain outdated for your tastes. Take into account all of these things when viewing a new home:

  • Remodeling a kitchen sets homeowners back as much as $20,000. Cabinets, not in good condition, easily cost $4,000, excluding installation, to replace.
  • Counters that are made of laminated material chip and stain easily. Sold surfaces are durable. Be happy with the color to avoid replacing them.
  • Choose flooring that suits your needs. Laminate floors are the most common and least expensive. The most durable is tile. It is also cold on the feet and can crack or chip. Wood floors create warmth but are easily water damaged. Owners with children want to take that into consideration.
  • Matching appliances are the most desired by homeowners. New models are less likely to be in need of repair. Check the refrigerator carefully. Refrigerators are the most expensive kitchen appliances.

 

Bathroom

Bathroom remodeling has an average cost of approximately $10,000 and this should not be taken lightly. Remodeling is also extremely disruptive to family life as you are out of a bathroom while construction is going on. Check for cracks and leaks in the sink, tub, and toilet. Pipes need inspection as well. Behind the tub is an access panel. That panel and the ceiling below a bathroom are areas to check for leaks. Piping repairs on second floors are costly.

 

Heating

Today’s high energy prices make old heating systems expensive to operate. They are also costly to replace. New furnaces cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000. Prices vary somewhat depending on the size of the house and the type of heating system. Heating systems are designed to last about 20 years. After ten years, some models begin to deteriorate.

 

Air Conditioning

The most costly air conditioning units to repair are central air units. Replacement cost is approximately $2,000. Window or wall units are not as expensive to replace, but cost more to operate. Water damage, resulting in mold growth sometimes occurs when these units remain in place all year. Mold is hazardous to health and any prior issue should be discussed with the previous owners. Examine cooling units and the surrounding areas to see if they are up to your standards.

 

Roof

A properly installed roof lasts 20 to 25 years. A second layer costs about $2,000. Stripping a layer or two off, before adding a new layer, costs twice as much. Professional roofing contractors in Salt Lake City suggest checking the roof’s condition during the walkthrough by looking for missing shingles, curling, cracks or even mold. Finding a leak in your roof after the first rainstorm in your new place can be quiet a nightmare.

 

Windows

New double-paned low-e windows add significant value to the house. They are easier to operate than older versions. Cleaning is easy, and they are energy efficient so they help save time and money. Starting costs for double-paned windows are someplace in the ballpark of $300 for an average-size window. That price includes installation and so checking the types of windows while doing a walkthrough is encouraged.

 

Basements

Check for signs of leaking in a basement. Watermarks are one visible sign that leakage is a problem but you can also look around the water heater and see if there has been any damage in the past. It is usually futile to attempt stopping water from coming in if the landscape is designed poorly. A system to remove it is a better option than a whole new remodel.

 

Insulation

A well-insulated home is easier to keep cool during warm months and warm when it is cold outside. A minimum of one foot of ceiling insulation is important and while it might not be practical to venture into the roof, ask the agent if they know the condition of the insulation. Energy costs are less if the walls are also insulated. Ceiling insulation costs are about $1,000. Insulating walls costs several thousand dollars more.

 

As the weather starts to heat up, realtor signs begin to pop up in front yards of homes for sale. Conducting the pre-inspection items listed here, before making an offer, makes an inspection contingency unnecessary. Sellers are likely to accept a reasonable offer that is not contingent on an inspection. Many sellers are willing to accept offers that have less risk at a slightly smaller price.

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