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What to Look Out for When House Hunting

In Denver Real Estate, Moving | on February, 21, 2014 | by | 0 Comments
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If you’re in the market for a new home, don’t let a Real Estate Agent talk you into making an offer for a property. Buying property has to be done based on facts, not on a carefully crafted sales pitch that really connects with you (many realtors possess this gift); otherwise there can be devastating financial consequences a few months down the line. However, if you’re going to call the vendors bluff (that’s assuming someone does try to “fool” you, of course), you first need to know what you should be looking for each time you go to view a property, which is what we are going to “teach” you during the course of this article.

Property Viewing Tips from a Leading Real Estate Agent in Denver

Much of what you need to look out for concerns the “big-ticket” items, i.e. the parts of the property that would require significant investment to fix if they did turn out to be in bad condition. Unfortunately, sometimes vendors will try to hide these problems as they severely affect their chances of making a sale, which is why we would always advise you to have a full structural survey completed before an official offer is submitted. On your initial visit to the property, look out for the following:

  • What State is the Kitchen in? – There’s no getting away from the fact that the kitchen is an important part of the home and an area that is used probably more than any other. Check to see what condition it is in and when it was last renovated. If it is ancient and will almost certainly need ripping out and replacing in order to meet your needs, you should be aware that a major remodel is likely to cost the best part of $60,000. Parts of the kitchen you should pay particular attention to include the cabinets, the appliances, the countertops and the floor. Are these parts in good condition? Could you have the kitchen you desire by making a few minor adjustments?
  • What About the Bathroom? – Any agent will tell you that along with the kitchen, the bathroom is the other room you should pay close attention to. The smallest room in the house in many cases, the bathroom is a hive of activity and comes second only to the kitchen in terms of daily use. Another characteristic they have in common with kitchen is the fact that they are incredibly expensive to remodel, with the average cost close to $20,000. Pay close attention to the plumbing fixtures, including the toilet, the bathtub, the shower and the sinks, as these will be the most expensive parts to replace. Can you see any obvious signs of leaking water?
  • Damaged RoofHow Old is the Roof? – The roof is another part of the home that has a limited lifespan and is very expensive to replace when the time comes ($20,000 on average but it does depend on the materials you select). You could opt to “overlay” an existing roof rather than replace it if it’s in poor condition, but most people with a real estate license in Denver would probably advise you against that as there are a number of risks attached to this. From the exterior, check to see whether the roof is visibly sagging, as this is a sign that the roofing supports are no longer able to take the weight of the tiles, and indicates a large investment will most likely be needed in the near future. Also, scan to see whether there are any missing, cracked or curling roof shingles in sight.
  • Heating and Cooling? – You need to know how old the HVAC system is. The older the system, the lower the energy efficiency rating it will have, meaning the amount of heat energy produced by these systems relative to the amount of energy consumed will be low. What does this mean? For one, you will be paying out significantly more on your energy bills each year. Older HVAC systems are also more likely to break down, resulting in costly repairs and considerable inconvenience, especially if they break down during peak season.
  • basement water damagePotential for Water Damage? – After the devastating floods that ravaged much of Colorado State in 2013, checking out the basement area for signs of water damage and leaks is a smart move. Can you see any obvious signs of water? Basements can be expensive to waterproof, particularly if there’s a serious leak and the waterproofing must be done on the outside of the property. It’s also not ideal if the property is situated on low ground, as groundwater may consistency flow towards the foundations until the pressure becomes so intense that a crack develops and the water leaks inside.

Many parts of a home can easily be modified for very little cost, but the problems listed above will require a serious investment to fix, which could be money you don’t have. Make sure you are extremely vigilant and ask plenty of questions. Happy house hunting!

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