According to the United States Census Bureau, the average sales price of homes sold in the US is $377,100 (USD). This is 44% more than the average sales price back in the year 2000. As you can imagine, it’s hard to find a good home for a price that you can readily afford.
When you find an inexpensive house, you might be tempted to seal the deal right away. However, the smarter choice is to take your time thoroughly checking the house. You’ve probably heard about properties that are lemons — houses that look good on the outside but have too many defects on the inside. Though there are some flaws that you can simply ignore, there are problems that you should take as deal breakers.
If you are buying a house in Holmdel now, look out for the following warning signs:
- Location In A Flood Zone
If you happen to buy a house in a high-risk flood zone area, you’ll have to spend more on your insurance. Moreover, selling the house in the future will be difficult. Try to look at the house’s address in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) map database. You can also try to ask local authorities about which streets typically gets flooded.
- Damaged Electrical System
Old houses usually have inferior, outdated, or damaged electrical systems. These can be a fire hazard. So look out for any loose or exposed wiring. Also, check whether the main fuse box is still in good condition. If the system looks too old, you might want to hire an electrician to do the inspection. If you have to rewire the entire house, it might not be worth it to buy it at all.
- Poor Roofing Quality
A well-maintained roof can last for more than 25 years. However, one that has poor quality shingles and has been installed improperly is just shoddy. It is prone to water damage and flooding. Thus, you should inspect the gutters. Watch out for dry rot, missing tiles, and sagging rooflines. When there’s a need to do some fixes on the roof, you can ask the seller to lower the price of the house.
- Broken-down Foundation
Cracks in the foundation alone can indicate significant structural problems. If you find them in the ceiling, walls, and flooring as well, then you can be sure that the house needs some major repairs soon. Usually, sellers tend to apply plaster over the cracks, so you might need to hire a structural engineer to check the house’s foundation.
While you’re at it, check the walls for pest infestation. If the beams and door frames sound hollow, then there might be termites living inside them.
- Faulty Plumbing
The plumbing system is the gut of the house. However, if it is faulty, you might not be able to detect it right away. The taps need to be turned on. You also need to check the water pressure in the sinks and showers. See if the water drains quickly and properly. Try to flush the toilets. Look for mildew, sagging floors, and water stains as these are signs of leaking. If the plumbing problem is serious, ask for a price reduction or start looking at your other options.
What you might think is cheap can actually be expensive. Don’t underestimate the overall cost of house repair and renovation. You might end up paying more than you intend to.