Asking the right questions before you buy a home can save you headaches down the road. You need to determine if the property suits your needs, what types of repairs or upgrades you may need to make, and the impact this will have on your budget. To avoid getting caught off guard, be sure to pay attention to these five things before moving.
What are the Warranties on the Windows and Siding?
Check the home’s windows and siding for signs they may need to be replaced. Ask when they were installed, and learn about the terms of the warranties. Many manufacturing companies allow for product warranties to be transferred to a new homeowner, so it’s essential to know purchase dates and understand details pertaining to the siding and window warranties.
How Old is the Roof?
Regular asphalt shingles—the most common type of roofing—typically need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years. It can be an expensive but necessary replacement, so it’s important to not only identify the age of the roof but have it inspected. Professional home inspectors will look for issues like cracked and broken shingles, shingles that have begun to curl, and bare spots on the roof.
What Are Utility Costs?
Get an average cost of monthly utility bills and find out when the peak months are. Learn about the energy sources of appliances, and consider upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances to save money. Swapping out older windows with energy-efficient replacement windows can help prevent heat loss and cut your annual heating and cooling bills. They also can boost your curb appeal and enhance indoor comfort.
Have There Been Any Infestations?
At the time of the sale, the current homeowners should disclose infestations of termites, carpenter ants or other pests. If a previous infestation has occurred, it’s essential to know the conditions that caused the problem, who fixed the problem, and how. You might also ask neighbors if they’ve had issues with pests as it could be a neighborhood-wide problem.
If you run into any problematic pests after you have moved in, be sure to seal any cracks and holes around the house, repair or replace rotted wood, and call a professional if it’s an ongoing problem.
How Much Insulation is in the Attic?
A properly insulated attic could save up to 10-50% on your heating bill and will help keep your home more comfortable. Attic insulation can help prevent gradual damage to your home caused by heat and moisture while improving your indoor air quality. Knowing the amount and quality of the insulation will help you decide if you need to invest in additional insulation. If the previous owner is unsure, take a look at the attic. If you can see the tops of the ceiling joints, you should budget for an insulation upgrade.
Buying a new home is exciting, but make sure you pay attention to these key points before you make the move.