20 critical things to consider before buying a house

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Buying a home is a great investment and a very big deal. But there’s no going back once you sign that purchase agreement.

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For that reason, you should go out of your way to ask as many questions as possible before you commit to buying a property.

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The square footage

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The right amount of space is subjective. A retired couple needs a lot less room than a growing young family. Make sure you’ll have enough square footage to meet your needs.

An attractive, manageable yard

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Yards require maintenance and, depending on where you live, irrigation. If you don’t do this work yourself, you’ll have to pay a landscaper.

A sturdy roof

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Look for a sturdy roof in good condition. A leaky roof will destroy your home’s value fast, and replacing it can easily cost five figures.

A solid foundation

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Foundation problems are one of the most serious flaws you can find in a house. Make sure the foundation in your prospective home doesn’t show any signs of damage.

An exterior in good condition

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A closer look at the exterior can tell you even more. Look for signs of peeling paint, rotten wood, discoloration from animal or pest infestations or hairline cracks as a result of foundation problems.

The right number of bedrooms

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The number of bedrooms you need will depend on how many people will live in the house as well as how often you’ll host guests.

Functional, attractive bathrooms

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Give each bathroom a close inspection by testing all faucets and toilets. Look for adequate water pressure and swift drainage, and make sure there are no leaks.

Heating and cooling systems in good working order

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If you’re interested in installing a new central heating and cooling system, make sure the home’s infrastructure can accommodate it.

A dry basement

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Inspect the basement for water damage, which could indicate leaks or susceptibility to flooding.

A clean attic

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Make sure there’s adequate insulation and that it’s dry and undamaged. Soggy or stained insulation in the attic is a sign of hidden leaks.

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