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What to Check in a House before Buying It

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As exciting as buying a house can be. Unfortunately, there has to be a critical eye before you buy.  Step back, stare down your possible future home, and consider checking these items for any problem before you buy.

Heating and Cooling

The best time to home shop is in the winter since fewer people are considering moving.  Another great perk is getting to check out the home’s heating and cooling system at full use.  Check to see if it’s thoroughly heating the house and whether or not you’re going to be able to get what you want from the system.  If it’s not heating or cooling well, it could cost you thousands to fix.

Flood History and Water Table

In some states like Texas and Georgia, homeowners have to disclose if a home has flooded in the last ten to twenty years.  Others, however, allow home sellers to hide this fact unless they’re asked.  This plan could mean you accidentally buy a home that floods every spring.  The idea is scary to consider!  Ask about the home’s flooding history, and have the inspector you hire look for any signs of water damage.

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Zoning and Homeowners Association

On the surface level, an HOA may seem like a fantastic idea.  Not only does this group help keep up your property value, but it also helps you deal with obnoxious neighbors in a forgivable way.  Unfortunately, HOAs aren’t cheap, and they take away a lot of individual creativity.  If you want to be able to grow local natural grass in your yard, or you want a metal mailbox in a neighborhood of brick ones, pay attention to HOAs when you’re looking at St. Albert homes for sale.

Signs of Shifting or Damage

Look above door frames and on ceilings for any sign of shifting or damage.  In some areas, there isn’t much, while in others, there are more clear signs.  Unfortunately, not much can be done for a house that’s shifting on its foundation, so be aware of what you’re signing onto.

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Insulation and Windows

Along with your heating and cooling, your insulation and windows can make or break your electricity bill every month.  Check the windows for a draft, which you can do with a lighter or candle, and pay attention if you notice any cool spots or uneven heating while you’re taking your walkthrough.  Insulation isn’t cheap to fix, and windows can be even more expensive to replace. 

Internet and Cable Capability

Although this may not often be considered, and many may think this is easily fixed, it’s a problem you should think about.  When you visit a home, ask if they’ve had the internet active before, and find out what speed and type of service they had.  Internet access is becoming akin to a utility in modern times, which means you need to be sure the area has what you need.  If you’re moving out to a rural area, don’t be surprised if many neighborhoods and streets don’t even have a line directly to the house yet.

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