It's easy to overlook red flags when house hunting, especially as a first-time home buyer. We're not just talking about the little things like chipped paint, broken doorknobs, or missing smoke detectors (although these are hassles), we're talking about the big ticket issues that are going to cost a pretty penny after you close. Forgetting to consider the age of major appliances or the state of the roof can cause major headaches down the line. That is why it is important to go into the home buying process with a trusted and experienced realtor who will keep these things top of mind. Here are five common things buyers often overlook (but we don't).
1.) Roof Leaks or Water Damage
Roof leaks and water damage are often a spendy fix. Even if the water damage is mild, leaks only get worse. When viewing a potential home, look for water stains on walls and ceilings, around windows and doors, and any cracks in drywall.
Average cost of fix: $1,400 - $2,700
2.) Outdated Kitchen
It's easy to say, "We can update this kitchen, no problem!" But, have you considered the cost? Updating a kitchen is often the most expensive renovation you can make to a house! Cost can depend on the size and what updates you're looking to make. Beware: more often than not, you will find extra things you'd like to change in addition to what you had planned.
Average cost of fix: $12,594 - $33,118
3.) Old Windows
Old windows? Prepare for chilly winters! Old windows can create drafty rooms and loss of heat from a home causing your heating bill to rise. When replacing these windows, be sure you are choosing high-quality windows with exceptional insulation.
Average cost of fix: $300 - $750 per window
4.) Age of AC, Water Heater, and Furnace
Most first-time homeowners don't even consider the age of these major appliances. On average, AC units last 15 - 20 years, water heaters last 8 - 12 years, and furnaces last 20 years. Before you say, "Eh, this isn't a deal-breaker for me." check out the hefty price tags of replacements.
5.) Foundation Issues
While your inspector should be able to identify any large foundation issues, you should still do your own fair share of inspecting prior to putting in an offer. A few things you can look for that may point to foundational issues are gaps between exterior windows and walls, sagging floors or ceilings, sources of mold, and cracks in walls or floors.
Average cost of fix: $1,843 - $6,556
Jessica & Sarah are highly experienced Iowa realtors, ready to take the charge in leading you through a purchase process you can look back upon fondly. Contact us today and we can help you find the home of your dreams for today, tomorrow, and beyond!