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Things to Look for When Buying a New House

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Purchasing your first or a new home is an exciting time. Unless you’re building, there are plenty of things to inspect before you should make any big decisions. Aside from electrical wiring and wood-eating pests, if a home you’re interested in has any of the red flags below, it may be more cost effective to look elsewhere.
  • First, visit the home you’re interested in at different times of day. Do you still like the house, and the neighborhood, at night? Are the streets well lit? Do the outside lights work?
  • Another step is to check the windows. Drafty windows will run up your energy bills and old windows that won’t open can be dangerous. Make sure that the windows are tightly sealed and easily open, close and lock.
  • When buying an older home, it’s important to know the status of your air conditioner. If it is more than ten years old, it could be inefficient or on its last legs.
    • Other important things to check for are AC intakes. If you have a two-story home and only one intake, your upstairs and downstairs could have a major difference in temperature.
    • While you’re looking around, check out any indoor air conditioning coils. Are they in good shape?
    • And finally, take a peek into the attic for proper insulation. According to Energy Star, “The recommended level for most attics is to insulate to R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on insulation type.”
  • Fixture updates are a definitely bonus when buying a new home, but don’t let a pretty exterior stop you from inspecting the plumbing in the home.
    • Turn all of the faucets on and off, flush the toilets and run the showerhead. How is the water pressure? If it’s slow all around it could indicate hard water damage that could cost you a lot in the long term.
    • Is the water clear? How does it taste? If the municipal water in the area isn’t up to your standards, you may have to consider the cost of installing a water softener or filtration system.
    • Does the water drain? If all the water in the home is slow to drain, there could be bigger problems with your plumbing.
Have you found any of these problems in previous homes? Were you blindsided by a hidden problem in your old home? Share your experiences and house hunting tips in the comments below! And if you have any HVAC issues once you buy the home, you know you can rely on Elmer’s One Hour Air to get everything up to speed.