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The Real Estate Cupboard # 21 Archives by: Steve Hubbard, Certified Buyer’s Representative

Time for You To Buy A House

You have been thinking about it for some time or it just came to you in a vision in you sleep last night, but you have finally decided it is time for you to buy a house. So you call you’re broker and say “it’s time, let’s go find me a house.”

If you have no idea what to look for when you go looking, I suggest you consider the following. Try to learn while hunting for a house by investing between 15 and 30 minutes systematically walking through and around each house looking for basic information concerning the 8 major home systems – structure, electrical, plumbing, other mechanical systems, basement or crawlspace, kitchen, interior and exterior. Look for clues or symptoms of existing problems and consider remaining life expectancies and replacement costs. If you’re not sure about what you see, ask your broker, ask the owner, or ask your home inspector.

First, walk around the house looking for signs of deterioration or distortion or signs of repair to the chimneys, siding, roofing, gutters and leaders, driveways, foundation and retaining walls, and landscaping. Look for and ask about the presence of any on-site buried oil tanks, asbestos, and any other environmental hazards. Look for the use of extension cords and other signs of inadequate circuitry or the presence of 2 hole electrical outlets, which should be replaced by grounded 3 hole outlets. Confirm whether or not the property is serviced by an on-site septic system and water supply or by municipal water and sewer. To determine if plumbing in the house is lead, scratch it with a coin. Lead will scratch easily and show bright silver where scratched. Heavier piping and fittings may be galvanized steel which is known to gradually clog closed and may need replacing. Confirm good amount of water flow and that drains are flowing freely. Look for signs of water in basements and crawl spaces. The presence of water or dampness doesn’t necessarily indicate a serious problem, but it is not a bad idea to know about it up front. Consider the age of kitchen appliances and be wary of unlined chimneys. Asking about the type and condition of flooring hidden by carpeting. Look for evidence of roof leaks. Ask about the insulation and the utility bills.

Above all it is important to be sensitive to your feelings about a house. How would you feel about living there?. Does it work for your life style and for your family? If you have any doubts about what you’re doing feel free to call me; I would be happy to help you. 

Steve Hubbard owns and operates Steve Hubbard Real Estate Services.
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