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10 Big Problems People Forget to Check When Buying a Home

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Buying a home is an exciting time, but can also be an overwhelming process. Unfortunately, that makes it easy to overlook certain things that can be costly down the road.

Be sure to check for these ten things people forget to check when buying a home.

1. Structural issues. Cracking or splitting along walls is an indication of a deeper structural problem, and this is something people forget to check when buying a home. Hiring a professional to conduct a thorough home inspection can help you identify potential costly issues with the structure or foundation.

2. Windows. Poor insulation or damaged windows can send heating and cooling bills sky-high, and some home buyers even forget to check if windows are functional at all. Look for windows that are energy efficient or have double panes to help conserve costs.

3. Yard maintenance. A beautiful yard adds curb appeal, but well-manicured lawns with detailed landscaping or sprawling flower beds take a lot of work and expense to keep looking nice.

4. Associations. Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are designed to protect property values, but they can also be prohibitive and have costly fees. Make sure you go over the HOA rules and fees before you commit to a home or neighborhood.

5. Additional insurance. Homeowners insurance is required when you buy a home. However, it doesn’t cover certain risks or damages. Additional coverage like flood or earthquake insurance may be necessary when you buy a home.

6. Zoning. Maybe you have a home-based daycare. Or maybe you want to raise a few chickens in your yard. Check city zoning and town ordinances to ensure your plans for your home don’t go against zoning laws.

7. Warranties. If the home comes with appliance, window, and other extended warranties, double check to make sure they are transferable to a new owner.

8. Appliances. Make sure all appliances are in working order. Also, don’t assume appliances always come with the house. Have your realtor ensure the appliances are included in your contract.

9. HVAC. If you’re looking for a home in the middle of summer, the home inspector may be reluctant to crank the heat up. It’s a good idea to have an HVAC specialist conduct a separate home inspection for the furnace and air conditioning units, and most HVAC companies will do this for less than $60.

10. Water. Some homes rely on a well for water. Have your water tested to ensure your water is free of contaminants.