If you're in the market for your first home, you might not be prepared for the amount of work that's involved in finding the perfect one. Of course, you want one that will suit your needs – bathroom to bedroom ratio, size, etc. However, if this is your first home, you might not know what to look for when it comes to potential problem areas. Unfortunately, purchasing a home with existing problems can leave you with big headaches later. To avoid those headaches, here are three things you should look for when shopping for your first home.
Insurance Claims History
When it comes to buying your first home, the last thing you want to do is buy someone else's headaches. One way to avoid that is to investigate the insurance claims history before you make a purchase. While you won't be able to get the full details, such as money paid out, etc., you will be able to find out the claims that have been made, and whether those issues were repaired. If you find a home that has an extensive insurance claim history, and very few successful repairs, you might want to continue looking.
Flood dangers are another problem that can plague new homeowners. This is particularly true if you're not aware of the flood dangers when you move in. Before you purchase a home, take the time to assess the flood risks. First, talk to city planning officials to find out the flood zones in the community you're looking to purchase in. Next, talk to the neighbors. They'll be able to tell you about the flood issues they've been faced with. Finally, inspect the property. Look for signs of soil movement, especially along the easement, where water might flow during a flood.
Hidden Plumbing Problems
When you're shopping for a home, it's important to test the plumbing. However, if you're only looking under the sinks or around the toilets for signs of leaks, you might be missing the bigger picture, especially if you're shopping for a two-story home. Plumbing problems can exist between the floors. While you're touring homes, look up at the ceilings that are directly below the bathrooms. Look for water spots or areas where the ceiling is sagging. Those are signs that a leak is undermining the structural integrity of the home, which means that the ceiling could collapse.
Don't take chances with your home purchase. Before you choose a home, make sure you're not facing any of the problems described above. Click here to learn more about homes for sale in your area.