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Home Buying Tips: House-Searching Checklist

Necessary steps before buying a house.

Buying a house is not an easy task. There are many considerations to take care of so it would be better if you prepare a checklist to make sure that you got everything covered. Forgetting minute but important details can make you come up with a decision that you will later regret.

Steps to Do Before House Hunting

- Have your mortgage loan approved so you will know how much your budget is. This will help you limit the scope of your shopping.

- Know your wants and needs. Ask yourself how many rooms you like, which town you want to live, do you want to live near a school, and other specifics that will make house hunting easier.

- Find a reliable and efficient realtor. You can do the search yourself but a realtor will provide you with better results and more options. Relay to him your needs so that he can come up with a list of prospects.

Steps to Do When Picking a Home

This is when you should bring your keen observation skills into action. Some defects can be repaired by the former owner or the contractor before turning over the house to you. Learning about the repair needs can win you a discount and help you estimate how much more it is going to cost you to fix it. For a better assessment, you can get a building and pest inspection company to do the job for you. Spending $200 to $1000 for it, depending on property size, is better than finding out later that the house you bought is not livable. The following are important inclusions in your house-searching checklist:

- See if you like the neighborhood. It should be safe and accessible to schools, stores and offices that you frequent. You will be a part of that community later on so learn whatever you can about the people, housing associations, local fees, and coverage to different utilities.

- Check the conditions of the floors, walls, ceilings, and windows. Assess whether they need to be repainted, if not then how long do you estimate before they need any repairs.

- Walk around the home to see if there are rotten areas on the floors. They may look good at the outside, but falling into pieces underneath.

- Check the security of the home. Doors should properly close and locks should be working.

- See if there are any cracks in the windows, which may become a problem during the rainy season and also make you waste energy on heating and cooling the interiors.

- Turn on the heating and cooling units to see if they are working. Go around the house and check the lights in each room. It may be time to replace some of the fixtures.

- Inspect the floors for evenness. You may be surprised later on when your wheeled furniture starts to roll.

- Go over the electrical wirings, plumbing, and insulation. They could be costly to repair and make you waste on energy too, not to mention that open wirings can be a fire hazard.

- Check the exteriors too. This will include the roof, sidings, lawn, and the garage. Living under a roof that is about to collapse is very unsafe.

- Finally, look for signs of infestation. Termites could be eating on the foundation of the house and the insides of the walls. Do not waste your hard-earned money on a house with a lot of hidden defects.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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