Buying a House – Watch Out For Those "Bargains"

It may seem like any house you buy these days is going to be a bargain, but think again – you still need to check everything out to make sure you’re not being sold a “lemon”.

Now more than ever you have to check the basics. What with all those home makeover shows on TV showing sellers how to gussy up their house with a new coat of paint and some fancy hired furniture. There could be serious flaws hidden behind the “oh – Wow!” factor of an attractive appearance.
 
Here are some of the fundamentals you need to check out in every house you look at:
 
Location -look for areas that have growth potential (and resale potential). You are better off having the worst house in the best street than the best house in the worst street.
 
Aspect – A house that faces the right way has a major advantage. Depending on your location, a house with a south facing balcony (US, Europe & Britain) or north facing balcony (Australia, NZ, Africa, South America) has many advantages including lower heating bills in winter.  
 
Presentation – don’t let the presentation fool you – make sure cupboard doors open, and that drawers slide open and shut easily. Don’t be put off touching because it might look like a show home.
 
Flexibility – check the flexibility of the layout of the home. If the aspect isn’t perfect, how hard would it be to switch the location of a couple of the rooms to fix it?
 
Light – make sure the house gets enough light and air. Not enough of either can lead to mould and mildew (and our next point).
 
Smell – have a good sniff around. I am always on the alert when I visit a home that has left an incense burner going – are they trying to cover something up? Check especially in those rooms that get the least sunlight and air (such as bathrooms). A strong smell of bleach or ammonia could be a sign of problems.
 
Storage – Make sure there will be space for all of your furniture, linen and manchester, sports and play equipment and knick knacks. Check both inside and outside of the house.
 
Garden – does the garden suit your needs? Do you do a lot of entertaining? Do you have children and / or pets? Is the fencing adequate?
 
Bathroom – ventilation is essential in a bathroom. Make sure the bathroom has a ceiling extractor fan, or windows that open easily.
 
Kitchen – one of the key things to check in the kitchen is the triangle of greatest movement. That’s the area between the stove, the refrigerator and the sink. Is there enough room for 2 or 3 people to use this area (such as when you are entertaining)? And are there enough power outlets for all of your kitchen gadgets? Older homes, especially, have few power outlets in kitchens.
 
There’s lots more, but this gives you an indication of the sorts of things you need to be on the lookout for. Just because a home has been reduced in price doesn’t mean it’s a bargain – it might just be a lemon!
 
For more information and tips on buying a home, see my resource box.

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Source by Diane Ellis