When you're shopping for a new home, you'll go to quite a few open houses. While you're touring a house, make note of these important features.
Photo by angelune des lauriers.
Over at Forbes, Trulia lists a handful of important things to consider and questions to ask while you're taking a look at a potential home. Most of us know to check for major issues like foundation cracks or water damage. Here are some other key questions to ask, though:
How old is the roof?
"You really need to look beyond the new kitchen and bathroom and consider the bones of the home," says Adam Waggoner of Generator Real Estate in Denver, CO. One of the biggest "bones" of a house? The roof. The typical life span of a roof is up to about 20 years, but the average cost to replace one runs into the five-figure range. According to Pro Roofing Brisbane, an average roof replacement costs between $100 and $130 per square metre.
Have insurance claims been made on the house?
Jensen also recommends asking if insurance claims have been filed on the house, and for what — the answers may offer insight into any past issues that might not be immediately obvious at an open house. If the house is located near a pond, lake, or stream, he says, it's important to ask whether flood insurance is required, because that can affect buyer financing or create difficulties than can delay closing.
How old is the wiring?
If you're considering an older home, don't ignore the possibility of outdated electrical systems and wiring. Older systems may still be functional but can pose a safety risk, can be difficult to insulate, and are sometimes hard to insure.
These issues can easily be overlooked, and while they might come up later if you get more serious about the house, it's better to know upfront and while you have a chance to actually look at any potential issues. For more on Trulia's list, head to their post at Forbes below.