5 things to look for when shopping for a new house

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5 things to look for when shopping for a new house

Shopping for a new house is both an exciting and nerve-wracking time. You’re about to move into a new home to make memories in and call your own, but how do you know if you’re buying a dud? There are plenty of professionals you can hire to help you make the call, but when you’re visiting open homes, you can easily do a little preliminary research for yourself. Here are five things to look for when you’re house hunting.

1. The roof

Many people will be so caught up looking inside the house that they will forget to take a look at the roof. If the house is relatively new, you shouldn’t have any issues, but in older houses with tile roofs, it’s worth taking the time to look.

Look for rust, holes, dips, cracks, and anything else out of the ordinary. In some cases, such issues would only need to be fixed, rather than having the entire roof replaced. If you do spot anything, be sure to have a professional appraisal before you buy.

2. The carpets

As you are wandering around, take a closer look at the carpets. Central passageways and high-use areas such as those down hallways, in front of bathrooms, and around kitchens, can wear down much more quickly than other areas. If the carpet is becoming threadbare, you may wish to install new carpets.

In this case, you may be able to do just the affected areas if the previous owners have a supply of the old carpet. If not, this may become costly as you would need to recarpet the whole home to match.

3. Insulation

Insulation works hard year-round to keep the warmth in during winter and the heat out during summer. No matter where your home is, good insulation can save you on heating and cooling power bills, and even improve the sound-proofing between rooms. According to the Australian Government’s guide site, good roof insulation can save as much as 45 percent on heating and cooling energy, and wall insulation can save 15 percent.

Talk to the real estate agent about the current level of insulation in the home, and if you can, take a look at any insulation in the roof or walls to see if it fits snugly in the space (no gaps) and isn’t sagging.

4. Waterworks

If you’re ever going to turn on the waterworks, do it when you’re shopping for a new home.

Check a few of the taps to ensure the water comes out cleanly, and try one of the shower nozzles to make sure there is adequate water pressure. If you’re really keen, ask the real estate agent to borrow a glass so you can taste the water. If you notice a reddish tinge to the water, it can look unsightly and taste bad, but is not typically a health threat. To get rid of it, you will most likely need to hire a plumber to assess the problem areas and replace the pipes.

5. Doorways

During an open home, doors are generally left wide open to allow people to walk through. Take a moment to stop and close the doors and open them again to ensure they don’t stick or become jammed.

A stuck door may be a simple problem that you or a handyman could fix, or it could be a sign of a larger issue if the frame or walls have sagged in place and warped the wood. If you come across such a problem, be sure to raise it and find out the nature of the fault before taking further steps towards a purchase.