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Have you considered these 5 things when house hunting?

5 Things to Consider when Buying a Home

The house hunting process can be a ton of fun, especially once you find one that you can picture yourself calling home. And while there are many things you know to keep an eye out for when considering a home, here are a 5 things that we bet you haven’t thought about that can have a big impact on a homeowner.

1. Check out the sun in relation to the house

While you may be wondering how this has anything to do with the purchase of a home, the sun is a powerful thing! For one, the way the sun hits (or doesn’t hit) the home can play a huge role in how warm or cold certain parts of a house are. This can directly correlate to the heating and cooling bills. For instance, if the home is in an open area with little to no trees, you will most likely have a much warmer home because of direct sunlight. Keep in mind however, that you may pay more to cool the home in the blistering summer months when there is no shade to help shield the home.

Another reason to consider how the sun interacts with the home is moss, mildew and mold. The sun and the heat that it produces help dry out areas that could potentially grow these pesky (and sometimes dangerous) nuisances. If the home is in a particularly shaded area, you will most likely battle at least one of these at some point. Now this is not to say that homes exposed to more sunlight can’t be affected as well, but there is a much smaller chance.

Sunlight hitting house

2. Examine how the yard drains

You should be able to pretty quickly establish if a home is located in a flood zone. But, something not as easy to determine is how the yard drains (or doesn’t drain). If you’re lucky enough to have the weather cooperate with you and there’s a good, soaking downpour, make your way over to the home and watch what’s happening to the water on the ground. What you don’t want is for water to be sitting in large puddles around the foundation of the house, or for the water to be draining in a way that is causing erosion around the foundation.

Both of these instances can cause a major problem long-term as a homeowner. In the case that you can’t watch what happens to water around the house, you can look for erosion and patterns. For instance, the hardness of the ground in fairly flat areas can indicate if water is sitting in that area or not. You can also look for erosion and water lines around the foundation of the home.

3. Evaluate the landscaping

Yes, flowers and greenery planted in outdoor living spaces can make quite a difference in appearance if done correctly. But, there are some landscaping faux pas that you should keep an eye out for including dead trees, trees planted too close to the home, poor quality hardscaping and overly elaborate foliage.

  • Dead trees are a huge hazard as they can fall and damage your home, cars or property — not to mention it is costly to have them professionally removed.
  • Trees that have been planted too close to the home can cause damage above and below ground. Not only can they be destructive to the outside of the home but the root systems that travel out many feet underground can cause issues that close to the house.
  • Hardscaping that hasn't been done correctly can look great at first, but over time flaws such as cracking, sloping or water retention make for a pricey fix.
  • Extravagant landscaping can look amazing, but it can be very time and money intensive to keep up with. If you’re not familiar with the foliage planted, and don’t plan on having professionals keep up with the yard, you could end up with a big, dead mess.

4. Make multiple visits to the home

The home may be perfect for you, but what about the neighborhood? Yes, the neighboring houses were nice and quiet at 10am on Sunday morning, but that could have been because they were sleeping off the night before! Make a few visits to the area on different days and varying times, just to make sure there aren’t any surprises once you move in.

5. Test the water pressure

Although water pressure will most likely not make or break your decision to purchase a home, it’s a good idea to wander through the bathrooms turning on faucets, showers and flushing toilets. This will allow you to mentally prepare if a trickle shower is what you have to look forward to every morning. No worries, there are some fixes for low water pressure but all of them include money that you may not want to spend after just moving into a new home.

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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